Nordhavn (part i) Copenhagen, Dk

I must confess I found Orestad new urban area rather exhausting; the Nordhavn development area was much more enticing. Some of it is scale … Nordhavn has a high percentage of low apartment buildings and inviting, very well executed public spaces. Some of it is location … Nordhavn is much nearer the Copenhagen city, and the adjacent Osterbro neighbourhood is urban rather than suburban.

I find it interesting that one city produces two such very different new communities.

Nordhavn is built on the port, some on existing landfill, and much on new landfill. The landfill, by the way, includes 11 million tons of contaminated dirt. Perhaps Ottawa could create some cheap land for “affordable” housing, by filling in Lac Deschenes with contaminated soil?? (oh no, we already tried that by filling in Richmond Bay to make LeBreton Flats … and now we must dig it all out and dump it somewhere else).

I found myself wondering when in Nordhavn what the response was from environmentalists to what appears to be hundreds if not thousands of acres of landfill into the ocean.

Most of the focus of the next stories will be on a walkabout on the four piers in the foreground, in the 8,9,10, and 11 o’clock positions (circled in blue):

I took the S-bahn to Osterbro, enticed by views of the new urban developments,  and got off at the station. 

Construction and road closures lead me a through a long detour:

across wide traffic-heavy intersections …

along busy truck routes …

past more large-scale buildings and car parkering sitting in somewhat splendid isolation…

pedestrian friendly doesn’t come to mind …

Whew, there was an extension of the (future) city metro line out onto the site:

But I eventually reached my destination, the furthest out developed pier, home of … the Copenhagen International School (International Bac. high school, 900 students):

This mega building turned out quite well. It is bright blue, with detailed exterior finishes. It is located immediately adjacent active shipping docks and mimics the look of stacked shipping containers:

the upper floors looked to be boarding residences or offices…

Younger children were playing out front, on a play surface that seemed to be a (temporary?) repurposing of an auto-centric entry driveway and forecourt:

The active shipping container port was VERY close at hand:

and the school hadn’t any fences, or even much of a curb, to separate it from the drop into the harbour:

The wood strips help diffuse the sun shining into the gym:

These all appeared to be larger, adult size bikes, perhaps belonging to staff or to the upper school students:

I like the juxtaposition of residential / institutional land uses with active industrial uses. It demonstrates, daily, that there is physically productive work other than inhabiting office cubicles.

The international school is located on the edge of the dock shown outlined in the “top”  blue circle on the aerial photo below (feel free to enlarge this or any other photos, you will see so much more…) This of course shows the site just as construction of the school had started:

Coming soon: the neighbourhood with the grain silo converted to apartments, the round towers, and the star-shaped UN City neighbourhoods.

Thank you for reading. So what do you think?