New Copenhagen car park dressed in cork and recycled aluminium

7. October 2019

New car park in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn will be the first larger construction project in Denmark cladded with cork. Behind the proposal are Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects and STED – won in an open project competition by By & Havn.

More than 2,700 m2 of cork will cover the facade of Copenhagen’s new five-storey car park at Trælastholmen in Nordhavn, just off the new metro station. By & Havn has just published the winning proposal for the new façade, decided by means of an open project competition; the winner being Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects and STED.

In addition to parking spaces, the car park will include vibrant, open and green spaces along the building’s perimeter, with shops and meeting places as well as a Kiss’ n Ride function.

“The proposal is a gesture to the area’s history as a place where wood is stored and handled and simultaniously adds a sustainable and playful element to the district of Nordhavn,” says Anne Møller Sørensen, partner at Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects.


A pixelated shadow relief in cork and recycled aluminum

The main building is cast in concrete and lined with a facade of cork combined with a skeleton of recycled perforated aluminum sheets. The cork boards are mounted on a hardwood skeleton.

“By displacing the frames with cork and aluminum, respectively, we create a pixelated and detailed relief that provides a vivid light and shadow play across the facade. In the evening, artificial lighting will enhance and accentuate the expression of the building and the materials, ”says Anne Møller Sørensen.

When the building is finished it will be Denmark’s first large building, where cork is used as facade material. A material at home most commonly known as floor coverings in the 1970’s and 80’s detached houses, but which has been internationally touted for being underestimated for its sustainable, environmentally friendly and reusable properties.

“In both form and function, cork is an obvious choice of façade materiale for this project. It is a compressed material without a front or back, 100 per cent natural and seasoned against wind and weather. It patterns beautifully, is virtually maintenance-free and naturally dampens vibration and noise – an obvious advantage in a car park, “says Anne Møller Sørensen, partner at Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects.

The judge’s report says of the proposal that it has “a balanced whole, created by consistent and clear choices that give it a particularly strong and compelling character. The proposal must be particularly highlighted for its ability to create a complete, credible and long-lasting solution that contributes with a unique character that both is in harmony and counter-play with both Sundmolen and Trælastholmen.

Façade cork originates from the bark of the cork oak harvested every nine years, after which it regrows. It contains no chemicals or toxins and so it absorbs more CO2 than it emits during its lifetime.

“A greater focus on sustainability and a need to act here-and-now requires us to work in new ways with proven materials and technologies we already know,” she says.

The car park will be located next to the new metro station in Nordhavn and will accommodate 350 cars. It is expected to be completed by 2022.

Kork relief genbrugsaluminium