The main architectural concept of the Niels Bohr Building (NBB) is based on the vision of consolidating academic environments in boundless communities. It is also to create a building that will facilitate the generation of knowledge across organisational frameworks and affiliations. NBB will be a scientific and creative environment that will bring together teaching and research – institution and society.
The Niels Bohr Building will be part of the Natural Sciences Faculty of the University of Copenhagen and will house the Mathematics, Data Science, Chemistry, and Physics faculties – including the Niels Bohr Institute. The building is being constructed in the University Park between Nørrebro and Østerbro as part of the ‘Nørre Campus’ knowledge district.
NBB will be a vibrant place, a setting for sojourn and contemplation throughout the day, where users get a real sense of being part of a significant knowledge environment with an international profile. NBB will provide users with an everyday life and career in a building with spaces ranging from single person offices to highly specialised laboratories. In communal facilities, such as the ‘Troposphere’, all the users in the building will be able to meet across affiliations and academic backgrounds. The Troposphere is an architectural personification of the boundless community.
The characteristic, prism-shaped façade, will invest NBB with a highly distinctive identity. The secondary, noise-cancelling building envelope will reduce transmission losses, and the cavities will preheat the air from outside that is drawn into the building.
The building is structured in 9 vertical units – ‘towers’. Each floor plan in the towers is referred to as a ‘module’, containing offices, laboratories, and support services. Each module is about 600m2: a good size for an independent workplace in a larger community.
Between the nine towers is another important architectural hallmark for NBB: six characteristic courtyards that will start on the ground floor and progress all the way up through the building – up to 28m.
The building is part of the Government’s investment plan for the modernisation of university laboratories and is being constructed in two phases on either side of Jagtvej. Phase 1 is located on the eastern side of Jagtvej with approximately 36,500m2 in the University Park, while Phase 2 will be established on the western side of Jagtvej with approximately 15,500m2 in a business area. The two buildings will be connected by a ‘skywalk’ over Jagtvej, decorated on the underside by the artist, Malene Bach.
The comments in the jury’s appraisal included:
‘The distinctively shaped, three-dimensional “Troposphere” and the trapezoidal researcher units contribute to the understanding of the building’s layout, at the same time providing a special design experience with varied, brilliantly shaped spaces with long, connecting sequences of balconies with filtered daylight through green vertical atriums. It is a totally unique, inter-disciplinary composition, featuring exceptional interactive views both across the inside of the building and out of the building.’