The new residential complex Fortkaj in Copenhagen’s North Harbor is inspired by the Danish architect and lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture Kay Fisker (1893-1965).

The building’s red brick facade, red joints, and red window frames, with the light gray frames of high-strength concrete, refer to 1930s classic modernism. The building appears harmonious with its surroundings due to the red shades, which fade to the brownish and warm, while the building with its light gray frames around all openings, also appears as a unique house in the red city, the Arhusstreet district.

Interaction and contrast to Kronholm

The architecture utilizes the location facing Kronløbsbassinet, where large windows and balconies draw the area into the building. The balconies are set back in the façade, which ensures that the sharply cut building does not lose its distinctive and simple detailing with mounted-on balconies, while at the same time creating a shadow effect and shelter. The house is made of robust, weather-resistant materials which have a long service life and patinate beautifully, and which can withstand the hard wear and tear that occurs in a dense district, which is at the same time located right next to the water.

The building’s stringent expression contrasts with Kronholm’s more poetic expression. Kronholm is connected to Fortkaj via an underwater tunnel that leads cars from street level down into an underground car park on three floors. With its light concrete framings, Fortkaj plays up to Kronholm’s light materials, and thus the buildings reflect a distant kinship.

An intimate courtyard with beautiful planting serves as a meeting place, where you are invited to play and cultivate the small gardens. The courtyard area’s planted raised beds in corten steel play beautifully against the red tiles of the façade.

Expansion of the bridge district

Fortkaj is designed to point both forwards and backwards as a harmoniously proportioned house, which with simple and humble means creates its own expression while still relating to its surroundings.

The building is a modern interpretation of the classic square building which is known from the bridge quarters, and thus creates a connection to the neighboring neighborhood Østerbro. The square consists of four angles marked alternately with smooth or relief masonry. The different heights of the buildings create a dynamic expression. This adds modern elements to the classic square structure, whereby Fortkaj illustrates the history of Nordhavn; an intertwining of historical and modern architecture.

Kronløbsøen Project P/S (By & Havn, PensionDanmark and Nordkranen)
Cobe, Sted By- and Landskabsarkitekter, Jönsson Entreprise A/S, AFRY
8255 m2
Complete September 2021