Down in the Deep Blue Sea - C.F. Møller Landscape wins unique water and activity project

Down in the Deep Blue Sea - C.F. Møller Landscape wins unique water and activity project - C.F. Møller. Photo: C.F. Møller Landscape
Photographer: C.F. Møller Landscape

29.3.2016

C.F. Møller Landscape's Nordhavn Islands project has won the international competition for an innovative learning, activity and water landscape in the harbour basin in front of the new Copenhagen International School in Nordhavn, Copenhagen.

The new Nordhavn is really taking shape, and, having won the international Nordhavn Islands project competition, C.F. Møller Landscape will now create one of the first and most unique projects in, on and under the water in the quarter.

The Nordhavn Islands will lie in close contact with C.F. Møller's Copenhagen International School, connecting the school with the quarter and the quarter with the rest of Copenhagen. The Nordhavn Islands are an urban park on the water, an ocean of activities and recreational spaces at one with the water, the weather and nature – a new and different urban space for Nordhavn.

"Our proposal really embraces the union of water and nature at eye level. The project has tremendous potential as a community generator which, with the water encouraging activity and as a social trigger, will bring life and atmosphere to the area, and thus link the new school with the city and the city with the water," says Lasse Palm, head of department at C.F. Møller Landscape, speaking about the project.

Islands create a connection between inside and out
The activities on the Nordhavn Islands are spread out over three different islands, each with its own characteristics: "The Reef", a multifunctional platform for aqua learning and events in extension of the quayside; "The Lagoon", a floating arena for activities such as kayak polo and other water sports, and "The Sun Bath", an actual harbour bath with a sauna and protected areas for swimming training. As an extension of the school's interior space, not only can the functions be included directly in the teaching, but they can also be used by external visitors, as can the school's facilities, which are intended to function as a "community centre" by the Orient Pier.

In order to provide Copenhagen International School and all the other users with a new and different aquatic environment that stands out from all the other excellent water-related activities in the city, the Nordhavn Islands are deliberately rugged in character, embracing the "Nordhavn nature". This is done by incorporating the "grown" environment in a design that directly encourages activity in all weathers, rain or sun, waves or glassy water.

The weather, climate and nature are important resources for movement, recreation and learning – in, around and even under the water. The round islands are therefore surrounded by a band of free-growing, organic vegetation, contrasting with the urban environment and staging the natural environment and the aquatic environment as a learning landscape at eye level. At the same time, this band of vegetation functions as a natural safety zone around the three islands, allowing young children to explore the Nordhavn Islands and the water safely.

"We are passionate about creating new urban and landscape spaces that focus on integrating building and landscape because we believe that it adds value to the project concerned and to the city as a whole. With the Nordhavn Islands, we have created an inviting urban platform for social and cultural exchange, where everyone can meet the natural phenomena head on," explains Lasse Palm.

Will complete the spectacular school building
The Property Fund for Copenhagen International School is behind the Nordhavn Islands, which are expected to be ready in summer 2017, coinciding with the opening of the school. In the competition, C.F. Møller Landscape was up against proposals submitted by the Norwegian architectural practice Snøhetta and the Danish firm MLRP.

Designed by C.F. Møller, the new Copenhagen International School will become the largest school in Copenhagen, covering an area of 25,000 m² and accommodating 1,200 pupils. The unusual school building will be clad with 12,000 solar cells and consist of four sections adapted to the different age levels, with a communal base featuring a canteen, library and sports facilities, which will also benefit the surrounding city.

Photographer: C.F. Møller Landscape
Photographer: C.F. Møller Landscape
Photographer: C.F. Møller Landscape
Photographer: C.F. Møller Landscape

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