The Silo

Copenhagen / Denmark / 2017

79
79 Love 5,566 Visits Published

The Silo is part of the transformation of Copenhagen’s Nordhavn (North Harbour) – a vast postindustrial
development, currently being transformed into a new city district. Designed by Danish
architects COBE with clients Klaus Kastbjerg and NRE Denmark, a 17-storey former grain silo
and the largest industrial building in the area has been transformed into “The Silo”, housing
residential apartments and public functions.
Inside-out transformation
In order to bring The Silo’s industrial concrete facade up to current standards, the exterior of the
existing silo has been reclad, while the interior has been preserved as raw and untouched as possible.
An angular faceted exterior facade made of galvanized steel has been installed to serve as a climate shield. This has allowed the building’s characteristic slender tall shape to be maintained.
Dan Stubbergaard, Founder and Creative Director of COBE, says: “We wanted to retain the spirit
of The Silo as much as possible – both in terms of its monolithic exterior and majestic concrete
interior, by simply draping it with a new overcoat. The aim was to transform it from the inside out
in such a way that its new inhabitants and the surrounding urban life would highlight the structure’s
identity and heritage. Hence, the use of galvanized steel for the facade, which patinates in
a raw way and retains the original harbour character and material feel, lending a roughness and
raw beauty to the area, as in its industrial past.”
38 unique apartments
The spatial variation within the original silo is immense due to the various functions of storing
and handling grain, creating space for 38 unique apartments. Single and multi-level apartments
range from 106 m2 to 401 m2 in size, with floor heights of up to 7 meters. All apartments
have panoramic, floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, and several have been preserved in raw
concrete. The window frames are hidden on the outside of the existing concrete walls, offering
expansive views of the city skyline and the Oresund coast.
A mix of private and public functions
Both the top and lower levels have public access. The top floor consists of a mirrored glass box
housing a public restaurant with a 360-degree view of the city and the sea. The glass facade mirrors
the surroundings in the daytime, and at night it is reminiscent of a lantern. The ground floor
is designed as a flexible event space.
Dan Stubbergaard says: “Private housing and public functions ensure that the building remains
active all day. The public functions at the top and bottom also ensure a multidimensional experience
for the various users of the building. From the top you can see almost all of Copenhagen
in one panoramic view. It is completely unique, and something all Copenhageners will have the
chance to experience. The Silo will be inhabited, but will also be a destination. An urban focal
point for the new development at Nordhavn.”
Dan Stubbergaard continues: “By revitalizing our industrial heritage, we discover new potential
and highlight historical traces in our cities. They represent a built resource. They represent our
history. By doing so, we can transform what many people today perceive as industrial trash into
treasure.”
The Silo was completed in May 2017, when its first residents moved in. The remaining residents
will move in during the next couple of months, and the restaurant on the top floor is due to open
later this year. CPH City & Port Development is currently showing an exhibition on the ground
floor of the building on the future development plans for Nordhavn, also created by COBE.



Architect: COBE
Landscape architect: COBE
Engineers: Balslev and Wessberg
Contractor: NRE Denmark
Programme: Residential apartments and public functions
Size: 10,000 m2
Status: Commissioned in 2013, completed in 2017
Photographer: Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

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    The Silo is part of the transformation of Copenhagen’s Nordhavn (North Harbour) – a vast postindustrialdevelopment, currently being transformed into a new city district. Designed by Danisharchitects COBE with clients Klaus Kastbjerg and NRE Denmark, a 17-storey former grain siloand the largest industrial building in the area has been transformed into “The Silo”, housingresidential apartments and public functions.Inside-out transformationIn order to bring The Silo’s...

    Project details
    • Year 2017
    • Work finished in 2017
    • Client Klaus Kastbjerg and NRE Denmark
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Multi-family residence
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