14 years ago, I sat on a roof terrace bathed in sunshine, witnessing a stunning view of Christianhavn’s sea of red roof-top tiles that was worthy of Tuscany in another century. This roof-top experience, was the result of Hanne and Peter Lind Bonderup´s vision and hard work, transforming a small apartment into a wonderful, engaging residential space that rightly drew international attention to their work as architects and spatial designers. Although Hanne and Peter, have now moved onto distant pastures as the creative forces behind LBB3, this project, illustrates perfectly the benefits of providing apartments, especially in Copenhagen’s closely knit residential districts, with balconies, roof-top terraces, communal or private. Those precious square meters, have a become an oasis for urbanites like myself, where one can express gardening skills, socialize with neighbors or simply observe urban life from a balcony.
With the influx of Copenhagen’s new residential projects, the integration of yard environments along with balconies and roof-top terraces has become the norm with BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group residential complex, The Mountain, setting the bar back in 2007. Indeed even the demands of planning permission and an initial investment of approximately €13.500 have not tempered the growth of new balconies in Copenhagen’s districts; growing to a staggering 4000 a year since Hanne and Peter embarked on their project.
This additional space brings also new challenges. Most of Copenhagen’s garden centers are located off the radar and to be honest geared to your average house and car owner. For the thousands of balcony owners living in central Copenhagen the logistics can be a bit tricky. On a trip to Brooklyn a couple of years ago, I discovered Sprout Home, located in Williamsburg, an urban garden haven providing small-scale aesthetic and sustainable garden and balcony solutions that a Shakespearean sonnet would be proud of. Maybe locally, help is on hand as urban gardening is flourishing. Anna Taws and Peter Tom-Petersen recognizing a growing need, by recently starting The Urban Garden Company and I´m sure they have tapped into customer segment that will blossom with time.
As Easter draws near, my own balcony beckons, like Juliet calling for her Romeo.