CAFX 2016: Copenhagen Parading Its Architecture


The Copenhagen Festival – CAFX, opened this Thursday and was promptly greeted by the Spring’s first hint of something better to come. There is nothing better than witnessing Copenhagen’s classical buildings and waterfront bathed and draped in luscious sunlight. The festival founders, Josephine Michau, Peter Møller Rasmussen and Mads Farsø have extended the program this year embracing the cities of Århus and Ålborg. This ambitious project attempts to explore the role of architecture in our urban habitats in a down to earth way hoping to include a broader and more curious audience. The festival has over 150 events, from city safaris to film showings dispersed all over the city. The project, into its third year, yet again highlights the role of architecture and urban planning in the daily well-being of living in a thriving and complex metropol. The festival has inspired me to share my own 10 suggestions for exploring Copenhagen in March.

  1. 42 kilometers of almost accessible bike and walk paths stretching around Copenhagen’s waterfront is a fantastic way to experience the city’scurrent development. Or why not take the harbor ferry 991 and pick out your own architectural favorites.
  2. If there was one architectural and cultural event last year, that captured the hearts of Copenhagen’s residents, then The Circle Bridge has to top the list. Olafor Eliasson’s masterpiece embodies Copenhagen’s DNA.
  3. The Bicycle Snake Bridge: The architectural office behind the project was DISSING+WEITLING architecture, internationally renowned for their expertise in designing distinctive bridges. It may be that The Bicycle Snake is on another scale compared with other of their projects, but the WOW factor from it’s thousands of daily users, cannot be denied.
  4. Nørreport: The public space surrounding Nørreport Station’s new 6 pavilions is now a homogenous zone, where the bicycle parking zones and the 11 ventilation towers with tailored street furniture serve its daily users in style.
  5. Israel’s Plads: It was yet again COBE Architects who were behind its conception, a studio that has truly stamped its creative authority in this area. Israel’s Square links wonderfully with the busy Torvehallerne marketplace and the classical Ørsted’s Park.
  6. The Cisterns are a vital part of Frederiksberg Museums, providing a wonderful unique exhibition space that is currently hosting the video installation, “The Dream About Peace” by the artist Eva Koch.
  7. My own hood, Sluseholmen, continues to attract international interest from urban planners and students of architecture.
  8. The School in Sydhavn opened its doors to adoring pupils and teachers last year and offers an intelligent template to how we should approach the design of our schools.
  9. The Citadel has long been one of Copenhagen’s most treasured spaces, not only with the thousands of tourists that visit the area each year, but with the city’s residents. The star-shaped Citadel was formed into Copenhagen’s northern defense fortifications in the 1660’s and is still today an active garrison.
  10. Technically the Maritime Museum is 50 or so kilometers north of Copenhagen, but who cares. A rare space that takes us on a maritime journey and captivates the visitor in playful and imaginative way. The creative forces behind this project at BIG have reaped international awards and deservedly so.

Photo credits: Phillip Mills and Rasmus Hjortshøj – COASTSTUDIO





One thought on “CAFX 2016: Copenhagen Parading Its Architecture

  1. Pingback: Copenhagen’s Harbor, Full Circle | philscopenhagen

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