Miljøcenter Nordhavn

Soil Centre Copenhagen

A zig-zag silhouette

By the harbour in Northern Copenhagen, the sculptural silhouette of the city’s sustainable environmental centre stretches towards the horizon. Here the landscape is reminiscent of a barren moonscape with large hills of dirt and construction waste from building sites. Towards the north-west is an area with lakes and untamed vegetation, a habitat for the protected European Green Toad. Merging with the surrounding nature, the grass covered roof of the soil centre slopes to the ground from atop the zig-zag shaped building. The centre, with its corteen steel façade, houses offices, laboratories, changing rooms, workshops, garages, and glass stores. The sculptural design mirrors the specific requirements for the building programme so that changes in volume, the angled outline, and the height differences show transitions between the office section and the workshop areas. Skylights provide natural light to the rooms where carefully placed windows frame the surrounding nature. The office section is a peaceful retreat, while the raw workshops resemble the landscape. Here, plywood fittings, concrete walls, and self-levelling overlay floors dominate the interior.

“The building’s surprising aesthetic grip, combined with the obvious intention being a platform for innovation for new design solutions and circular economies, rises above the traditional architecture ‘de facto’-strategy. The Beautification hopes that the actors within the building will be inspired by Soil Centre Copenhagen. Christensen & co. has with the center created the most beautiful symbiose between aesthetic and sustainability.“
– Motivation for selecting the Soil Centre Copenhagen as winner of Association for the Beautification of the Capital Initiative in 2013.


How the project addresses the Sustainable Development Goals

In the project we have worked with issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the project was not designed to address the global goals, as it was created before the goals were adopted by the UN.
We have worked with issues related to: SDG 3: Good Health and well-being, SDG 4: Quality education, SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production, SDG 13: Climate action and SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.

ClientCopenhagen City & Harbour Authorities
Area1763 m²
LocationNordhavn, DK
ImagesAdam Mørk
UsersCopenhagen Technical & Environmental Administration