Spectacular project in the Copenhagen harbour area

Visualization of Kronløbsøen

Visualization of Kronløbsøen

Copenhagen’s sustainable new neighbourhood, Nordhavn, will be enriched with an artificial island that provides the framework for a major underground car park, apartments with sea-views and an office building of slate. 

The project owner is Kronløbsøen Projekt P/S and Ramboll has won the design plan for the construction in co-operation with with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, COBE Architects and STED City & Landscape.

The Kronløb Island is expected to be completed within three years. The project was launched to comply with Copenhagen City & Port Development’s commitment to establish a great number of parking spaces in the Nordhavn district.

The project consists of a large building on the waterfront, six apartment complexes, a four-storey underground garage with space for 1,000 cars as well as three bridges and an underground tunnel. The cars can drive directly through the underground tunnel into the middle level of the car park. Two of the bridges provide access to the island for pedestrians and cyclists while the third bridge ensures access for goods, rescue efforts and fire safety.

Apartments with sea-views and a unique facade

One of the project competition requirements for the 7,900 m2 building on the waterfront is that the building should emerge from the water. This places some very specific demands on construction in relation to water-resistance and materials: the building must be resistant to floods, ice and drifting debris, and it must be able to withstand changing water levels. Furthermore, the building will be exposed to a large amount of erosion from wind and weather due to its location on the quay.

In terms of aesthetics, there are extensive demands to appearance, since the building’s façade will be a landmark for Nordhavn, as seen from the mainland. The winning proposal includes plans to produce the façade in slate, arranged horizontally, in keeping with the slate’s natural layers:

- Natural slate arranged in horizontal layers on a façade is unique in a construction project and it has only been done a few times before internationally. The slate will give the building a rustic character and a homogeneous surface, which differs considerably from other types of building surfaces. The clear and beautifully varied colours of the surrounding nature will create a powerful combination of light and shadow on the façade, says Bent Steen Andeasen, Ramboll’s project manager for the project.

Green design in green surroundings

The bright surfaces of the buildings are inspired by the Danish seaside cliffs and all the apartments will be equipped with a balcony and a view of the harbour on one side and a green courtyard on the other.

And inspiration from nature is not just evident on the surface of the buildings; it is also a theme repeated throughout the project, down to the smallest technical detail. The buildings will be the first housing project in Nordhavn certified according to the DGNB-sustainability standard from the Green Building Council Denmark. In this way, the island plays a central role in establishing Nordhavn as the new sustainable city district, putting Copenhagen on the map as an international role model.

Island construction that abandons standard workflows

The project requires an interdisciplinary approach, where specialists in buildings, transportation and water are all involved to ensure the best result.

- Many well-tested workflows are being thrown overboard and rethought in new ways for constructing residential areas on an island. Entirely new details must be considered, such as how to deal with rising water levels, environment, waterproofing, moving supplies onto the island, overall infrastructure etc. Even functions as simple as transformer rooms, waste management, drainage etc. all require new solutions, explains Bent Steen Andreasen. 

To construct the building foundation, the groundwater must be temporarily lowered and this constitutes another major challenge, requiring meticulous planning as the pressure from the seabed is greater than what we normally work with when building on the mainland.

The island is designed for best possible utilisation of space, so that the size of the island and related “column-geometry” are specifically designed to hold 1,000 parking spaces. The same columns bear the apartments above, and this puts great demands on the building structure:

-In addition to functioning as rooms for storage and technical installations for the apartment residents, the top floor of the basement complex will also act as a ”transfer floor” that can compensate for the static forces between the basement complex and the construction above, on the few places where it is not possible to locate concrete structures vertically on top of each other, explains Bent Steen Andreasen. 

The project has a total area of approx. 70,000 m2.


First Floor, Emerald Building
Oud Metha Road
PO Box 116921, Dubai, UAE
Tel:+971 4 334 3616
Fax:+971 4 334 3617

Mail: info@ramboll.ae

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