In Copenhagen, Objects From Around The World Meet On A Painted Ground

Superkilen - Copenhagen

Superkilen - Copenhagen

Superkilen - Copenhagen

Not all architecture is above ground. Architecture can happen under the dirt and pavement, or even throughout its pliable surface. This week, we’re looking at recent work by architects who manipulate the ground to achieve different effects. Yesterday, we saw Dutch bunkers sinking in verdant quicksand and today we’re looking at a Danish quilt that pieces together objects from 60 different parts of the world along a half-mile stretch in Copenhagen.

The quilt is really an urban park deigned by BIG, Superflex and Topotek1 that stretches through Nørrebro, Copenhagen’s most diverse neighborhood. The new park celebrates this neighborhood’s diversity by collecting objects from disparate parts of the world and sorting them into a curious display of familiar and unfamiliar objects. If you’re from LA, you may recognize free-standing exercise equipment modeled after Muscle Beach, if you’re from the UK, you may recognize cast-iron trash cans, and if you’re from Russia or Qatar, you may recognize neon signs that have found a new home in Nørrebro.

But before these foreign-but-familiar objects were bolted in place, the Architects and designers did something much less complicated: they painted the ground. The treatment of the ground divides the park into three major regions: the part with grass, the part with stripes and the bright red/orange/pink part. The park doesn’t try to recreate vignettes from the different countries where it has borrowed objects (that’s how Epcot works, right?) but rather the park sets them up as solitary or clustered objects on unfamiliar ground. The project leader from BIG, Nanna Gyldholm Møller, describes the project this way.

“Rather than plastering the urban area with Danish designs we decided to gather the local intelligence and global experience to create a display of global urban best practice comprising the best that each of the 60 different cultures and countries have to offer when it comes to urban furniture.”

November 13, 2012 / By