Being the first residential complex constructed within the new Ørestad area of Copenhagen, it was vital that the VM House provide an inviting living environment. The first attraction was the site's direct connection to Copenhagen's Metro system and it's proximity to Amager Fælled park. Next, in order to allow for access through the site and provide room for activites around the buildings we lifted the V House on five meter columns, opening the courtyard to the park area on the south side. We also introduced niches and angles into the facades, helping to creating a series of informal meeting places. And instead of the using typical high-rise apartment low-outs, the units are designed as loft spaces. Each one is different both in width and height, allowing residents to introduce their own lifestyle into the apartments. There is also space for retail within the base of the M House and an integrated daycare center. A large abstract mural of Per Høpfner, the developer, made with standard bathroom tiles is also present on the ground floor, adding color and interest to a typically uninteresting area of such typologies.
“We live in a world where individualism has a larger resonance than previously. Diversity is well accepted, even desired. People who live in a housing complex should have the same access to individuality.” -Julien De Smedt
“The buildings are like a three dimensional Tetris game of people's living units.” -Julien De Smedt
“Our task as architects was to make the best of what we discovered. We have been rational in relation to the space available. Instead of idealizing the practical, we have chosen to optimize the actuality.” -PLOT
The V House
The manipulated perimeter block is clearly defined in its four corners but opened internally and along the sides. The vis-à-vis with the neighbor is eliminated by pushing the slab in its center, ensuring diagonal views to the surrounding open fields. provides optimal air, light and views for all flats. All apartments have a double-height space to the north, and wide panoramic views to the south. The south facade of the building is characterized by individual triangular balconies, jutting out like rows of jagged shark’s teeth, while the north facade is characterized by exterior walkways, allowing access to the apartments.
The M House
The exterior facade of the M House is clad in panels of anodized aluminum and glass, while the same interior logic applied to the V house is repeated, but broken down into smaller diagonal slabs. In this manner, the typology of the Unite d’Habitation by Le Corbusier is reinterpreted and improved upon in the following ways: the central corridors, connecting all floors and apartments, are shorter and receive light from both ends, the individual terraces are all on the south facing side of the building, and the roof terrace is accessible from the central corridors.
COLLABORATORS: PLOT, BIG, Moe & Brødsgaard, NCC
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