October 24 2012

United Nations Building: Copenhagen, Denmark

“The water in itself adds quality to this city”, Kim Herforth Nielsen, 3XN

The United Nations committee reaches worldwide, currently covering 193 member states. Its foundations were set following the end of the Second World War, when 51 countries committed to invest their power in the welfare organization. The declaration formulated in the Millenium Summit outlined the accelerated demand for improved efficiency and pragmatism. In response, the Danish authorities revealed their intention to merge the local UN agencies’ headquarters into one, significantly consolidating their cooperation and potential. Moving under a common roof will eliminate segregations and upgrade the office facilities to the newest standards for a lower financial investment. Nonetheless, the fusion process will engage more social awareness nationally and strengthen the international coalition.

By 2005, the waterfront in Østerbro, Copenhagen was given an extension of the urban grid. Part of the specially constructed island section has been reserved for the new UN City settlement. Besides this, the Marble Pier’s has been envisioned to accommodate exciting projects and venues, such as the 65m high towers linked by a suspended bridge. As a whole, the ambitiously planned extended waterfront, increases the wharf by 1.3km; bonding Langelinie, Nordhavn, and Østerbro.

Fenced by the waterline contours, the headquarters stretches its’ “arms” from the central atrium. The six-story high UN City occupies interior office spaces of around 33,000m2 for over 1,000 employees, an auditorium that seats 450, a kitchen, canteen dining area, fitness center, and storage space in the basement. 3XN architects nurtured a flexible solution for a building of complex functions and uses. The six-distinct union will have private office quarters, yet use common facilities. Due to security reasons, no cars will be allowed on the island. Yet a promenade will invite visitors on tours. The whole structure has been constructed in two separate phases, and the moving process will begin just after finishing the first wings.

Powered by alternative energy systems, the new project is rated to be a Platinum LEED example. The passive sustainability achieved through design, together with the roof-mounted photovoltaic panels, seawater cooling system and Sedum roofing will be a living example of environmental concern in the building industry.

Last, but not least, the project itself confirms Denmark support for the humanitarian causes and strengthens its’ external political affairs. With each strategic investment, the city consolidates a long term financial wealth through a well-trained working force, impeccable social services, and green engineering revolutions.

What would be the priority investments to be consider in cities nowadays?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Denisa Petrus

Denisa Petrus, following a Constructing Architect Bachelors Degree at VIA University, in Denmark, recently graduated after completing her final project at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Spain. Her international educational background and practice as project architect in Dublin helped her gain a expanded perspective over the streamlining process from design to construction. She aims to further develop her commitment to the sustainability paradigm by starting a Master in Sustainable Architecture degree in the near future. Currently settled in Copenhagen, Denmark, a genuinely environmentally-conscious city, Denisa is constantly inspired by its` vitality and pragmatic approach. Her blogs sketch and summarize the Scandinavian urban experience, a symbiosis between contexts and behavior, esthetics and technology.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 3:11 pm and is filed under Architecture, Community/Economic Development, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Environmental Design, Government/Politics, Infrastructure, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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