Gemini Residence Copenhagen, Denmark (2003-2005)
Conversion of two former grain silos into an apartment building
Everywhere in Europe old harbour areas are being reconverted into high-quality living areas. Excellent views, waterfronts, proximity to the center and an “original” character make most of these developments instant successes. The most wanted apartments in these projects are usually the converted warehouses that combine a modern lifestyle with a touch of “character.”
The conversion of the Frøsilos in Copenhagen fits into this picture, but can also be considered as a more radi¬cal next step. Whereas a warehouse can be seen as a more or less complete building, which should be modestly treated not to lose its original charm, the silos are incomplete, a bare structure. In this incompleteness lies the challenge of the project.
In the structural limitations of the silo lies the solution of the intervention. Making big openings in the concrete rings of the silo is difficult and limited. Making door-high openings is possible but complicated and can only be made in limited amounts. If there were apartments to be situated in the silos this would mean that in an area where views count, the apartments are inwardly directed. For a warehouse this might be acceptable, due its monumental status, but in this case it is a missed opportunity.
By flipping the projected floor inside out, this potential problem is eliminated, and turned to its advantage. Maxi¬mum views are possible and maximum flexibility can be achieved. Both cores are covered with a glazed roof, cre¬ating a futuristic lobby where people move up and down. In this way the silo forms a new core for the project and each room profits from the unique location of the project.
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