The Royal Danish Yacht Club (KDY)

The harbour space and the canals are the main elements of Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects’ master plan for Tuborg South. The Royal Danish Yacht Club enjoys a central location in the harbour space with an extensive view of the harbour, the canal, and the Sound.

Tuborg Harbour is a contemporary district with a mixture of housing and business, where the commercial buildings are large, solitary company head offices, and the housing features elongated, horizontal buildings. What the buildings in Tuborg Harbour have in common are a precise appearance, simple geometry, and an average height of 5-6 storeys. The buildings create spaces next to the marina, thereby forming an urban harbour environment. The harbour is encircled by a system of walkways, steps, and ramps, which convey the transition between the city and the harbour.

The fan shape of the clubhouse indicates Tuborg Harbour’s two basins. The main architectural concept of the clubhouse is the large folded roof that shuts off the building from the residential area to the south, but opens the building up towards the harbour and the wonderful views of the Sound – and that is ‘what it is all about’, as far as the yachtsmen are concerned.

When you visit, you get a sense of being on the water. Given its location in the transition between the city and harbour, it is crucial for the clubhouse to stand out from the buildings that surround it. The building is an integral part of the harbour architecture and the harbour environment, with the soft shapes of the yachts as an important element in our experience of the area.

The clubhouse is heavily exposed to all the surrounding buildings. The clubhouse looks like an object, in which the roof and façades together create a homogeneous shape. Viewed from above, the building seems to be one with the yachts in the marina. In order to underpin the architecture of the clubhouse as a homogeneous element, the ‘shell’ is clad with black roofing felt with no indication of joints or drainage. It is framed by a white-painted steel profile that emphasises the contour of the building: a reference to the white-painted steel hulls of large ships. Inside, the clubhouse is lined with wood: a direct reference to the wooden decks and interior fittings of ships.

KDY is built and covered in robust materials such as roofing felt, painted steel, glass, and timber, which weathers in the sunlight. Granite entrances and steps serve the clubhouse.

Torm, Carlsberg A/S, KDY
COWI A/S, Schønherr Landskab, G.V.L. Entreprise A/S
Tuborg Havnepark 15, DK-2900 Hellerup
1,100 m2
Realised in 2007
2008: Shortlist Pleasure Category, World Architecture Festival Awards
2007: The magazine Byggeriet, ‘Selected Building’