Mark #48 Feb/Mar 2014

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Danish architecture is experiencing an undeniable heyday. How is it that such a small country has such a high level of architectural success?

As you may have already foreseen, favourable socio-economic conditions as well as many other factors come into play when pondering the answer to this question. In all aspects of Danish society, design is greatly valued. Danes have high expectations of the built environment and a strong sense of national pride. A new building should be excellent and should be designed to last.

In Mark #48, we delve into several projects that stand as successful examples of Denmark’s commendable approach to the design and planning of its infrastructures. The issue first heads to Aarhus to look over the undergoing transformation of its docklands, a redevelopment project in which architects such as CEBRA, JDS, Search, Louis Paillard, 3XN and UN Studio were involved. We then visit the work of Henning Larsen, BIG, 3XN and COBE. All have also contributed to elevating the quality of architectural practice in Denmark.

The following section sheds light on the controversy over OMA’s De Rotterdam, provides insight into American recording artist’s take on architecture, brushes aside the ‘all work and no play’ saying with Langarita-Navarro’s feel-good architecture and discusses the German vain attempt at rebuilding an idealized past before finishing with contributions from Jakob + MacFarlane, Toni Maier, FleaFollyArchitects, Tacoa Arquitetura, João Paulo Loureiro and Lola Sheppard.

Cross Sections:

B720, A21 Studio, Andy Nicholson, Staab, William Pugh | Davey Wreden, Hascher Jehle, Ryue Nishizawa, Powerhouse Company, Suppose Design Office | Ohno Japan, Trahan, CASArchitects, Theo Deutinger, Craig Steely, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Studio Velocity, Studio Frank Havermans | RAAAF, Kunihide Oshinomi | Kajima Design, O&O Baukunst, Amano, Max Rieder | Erich Wagner, UN Studio


  • Introduction: Denmark
  • Aarhus Docklands: Aarhus’s former container port is converted into a new city district.
  • Henning Larsen Architects: Henning Larsen’s archaeology museum rises from the landscape just outside Aarhus.
  • BIG: The Danish National Maritime Museum in Helsingør is an unlikely landmark, situated entirely underground.
  • 3XN: A star-shaped plan and a sculptural staircase are two striking elements of UN City, a new building in Copenhagen.
  • COBE: Young Danish firm COBE realizes one cultural building after another.

Long Sections:

  • OMA in Rotterdam: OMA’s De Rotterdam may be a controversial project, but it is of great importance to the city.
  • | Ben Mor in Los Angeles: Lifelong friends and Ben Mor take on architecture, Japan and Los Angeles for music video That Power.
  • Langarita-Navarro in Madrid: With bright colours and a surprising use of materials, María Langarita and Victor Navarro realize buildings with a feel-good factor.
  • Reconstruction in Germany: The German desire for the restoration of an idealized past is leading to poor architecture.
  • Jakob + MacFarlane in Orléans: For the FRAC Centre in Orléans, Jakob + MacFarlane goes against its own philosophy, demolishing a structure before adding something new.
  • Toni Maier in Los Angeles: Toni Maier is a Los Angeles-based location scout specializing in architectural homes.
  • FleaFollyArchitects in London: Art installation Grimm City is a take on the folk tales of the German Brothers Grimm.
  • Tacoa Arquitetura in São Paulo: Tacoa’s elevated apartments form a new building type.
  • João Paulo Loureiro in Monção: João Paulo Loureiro stretches the limits of concrete spans with a double house in Portugal.
  • Lola Sheppard in Toronto: Lola Sheppard talks about the margins of architecture and her attraction to Canada’s North.

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