There can be few residential buildings that dominate its urban landscape with such visual impact than 8Tallet in Copenhagen. Completed in 2010, this mix of 476 apartments and commercial space, designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group, has harvested countless awards for pushing architectural boundaries. Located at the very most southern tip of Ørestad on the outskirts of Copenhagen, 8Tallet elegantly links the city with the vast Kalvebod Common, 2000 hectares of fertile reclaimed land. The design of the building resembles a twisted 8 figure with 2 accessible courtyards that invite light and air to all the floor levels. Ingeniously, a path connects the buildings perimeter offering breathtaking views and not surprisingly this unique landmark has for the last 6 years been attracting a healthy flow of arch-tourism. This steady influx of visitors, although welcome, does pose a challenge of finding the right kind of balance of sharing our residential and public spaces that doesn’t intrude on the local inhabitants private sphere. A challenge for all of Copenhagen’s recently developed neighborhoods that promote transparency and accessibility, such as Sluseholmen, which has adapted to this new phenomenon.
And on a grey April Sunday, sitting in 8Tallet’s café enjoying the view of Kalvebod Common, where the sky and land meet in such an emphatic way, I can’t help but be impressed with how 8Tallet ties the knot with its treasured surroundings.
Photo credits: Phillip Mills
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