The skies above The National Archives green roof-top in central Copenhagen were layered in different shades of charcoal grey. A sudden gush of a cold wind and then a downpour that had tourists, locals and yours truly scurrying for shelter. Volatile deluges like this one, especially during the summer months, have in recent years become more frequent, causing flooding both in central Copenhagen and its hinterland. To combat the challenges of global climatic change, the planning authorities of Copenhagen embarked on an ambitious plan to install green roof-top solutions on appropriate future building projects in the Danish capital.
The first major project, The National Archives green roof-top, designed by Schønherr, was opened to the public in 2009. The 8 meter high elevated roof terrace over and by the side of the National Archive buildings was not only designed to protect the city’s strained drainage system, but also encourage a dwindling bee and insect populations find new pollen havens and guide pedestrians and cyclists away from one of Copenhagen’s most congested major roads, Kalvebod Brygge. And yet after almost 8 years this urban passage of greenery is still remarkably secluded and blissfully quiet despite its location. Finding the entrance is also something of an adventure, rambling up and through SEB Bank & Pension HQ’s marvelous landscape, The City Dune, composed by SLA. This unique corner of Copenhagen that normally would have been barren and abandoned, was quickly adopted by those perennial pioneers of virgin urban spaces, skateboarders and it is the perfect place to ascend to The National Archives green top-roof terrace.
Content & Image Credits: Phillip Mills