Hall McKnight are members of a team led by Entasis Architects that has been successful in the design contest for a major urban development masterplan for Levantkaj in the North Harbour of Copenhagen. The team, which consists of Entasis, GHB Landskab, Hall McKnight, NIRAS and Trafikplan, now expect to collaborate on the next stage of the development of the urban plan and public realm design.
The proposal is for the next stage of the future urban development of Copenhagen, following the successful expansion of Århusagade district and Sundmolen directly to the South of Levantkaj. The competition–winning masterplan covers an area of 34 hectares of land and 13 hectares of open water and includes the development of 505,000m2 of new–build development to create a district for living, working, culture and leisure. The landscape character of the district is highly diverse with parks, squares and various waterside conditions from quay edges to the south to more natural areas rich in biodiversity towards the north.
The site is currently occupied by the port’s main container terminal, the stringent geometrical ordering of which has inspired the planning approach. A green network of spaces and streets present a more formal arrangement to the south, dissolving and blending into a more naturalistic character of planting to the north. Between these planted streets and squares, new buildings draw a well–defined, strong and distinct front towards the south facing quayside that looks towards central Copenhagen, conceived in forms resonant with large warehouses. The scale and rhythm of the developed blocks are interrupted by the disruptive influences of the metro, and the infrastructure spine of below–ground services. These defined aspects of the site are exploited in the proposal to create richness and variety, within an overall order related to the strong definition of narrow strips running north to south.
The proposal offers a wide range of urban spaces and landscapes: a 600 metre long Levant Quay Park with a variety of spaces and uses arranged between the transverse windbreaks; a calm series of linked public garden spaces along the centre of the peninsula; and an inclusive landscape characterised by leisure and play around the Skudehavnen basin and the associated channel, Skudeløbet to the north of the peninsula. The streets of the plan alternate between planted streets designed for local vehicular access and more densely planted ‘softer’ streets that are designed for pedestrian movement and occupation.
The proposal exemplifies a new approach to urban development in Copenhagen, breaking with the urban structure based on blocks of courtyard residential blocks found in more recent urban development projects throughout the city.
“We have emphasized the fact that the winning team has created a district that generally sets up community, life and movement in all urban spaces, rather than more formal and representative urban spaces. Levantkaj will be seen as a coherent whole and yet with diverse local peculiarities. Also the winning team’s understanding of how nature can have many expressions and contribute to recreational and experiential well–being, has played a crucial role in selecting the winner “
By & Havn’s Head of Planning & Architecture, Rita Justesen, president of the jury