City Dune, Copenhagen

European Garden Award 2014


A public place and landscape in Copenhagen in front of a new bank office has used very characteristic design tools to create a welcoming and very original atmosphere.

But it´s also very obvious that the landscape architect Stig Lennart Andersson (SLA landscape architects) has been inspired by the Danish natural landscape. The fields of concrete can be regarded as fields of sand and snow marching into the forest. This is where the name “City Dune” comes from.

The result is a sustainable and fully accessible urban space covering an area of 7.300 m2. Like a giant dune of sand or snow it slips in between the buildings, thereby creating a spatial coherence in the design. Simultaneously, the urban space, elevated 7 meters above the surroundings, ensures the mobility of pedestrians and cyclists.

Through the folding movements of the concrete, the surface reflects as much of the incoming sun radiation as possible, thereby creating a cooler microclimate during the hot months of the year. This cooling effect is further enhanced by the plantation, and by the 110 water atomizers emitting out moist air, spread by the wind. As such, no rainwater ends up in the sewers or on the roads.

The trees and herbaceous borders are placed in cracks between the horizontal planes. Both deciduous and evergreen plantation has been utilized to achieve the metabolism of water throughout the year in addition to enhancing the microclimatic environment with wind and shelter.

The trees and plantations are not arranged to copy nature. It is a new manner of seeing and experiencing nature in the city. The ambition is to create an urban view of nature through a design that clarifies the presence of nature as a process, while simultaneously supporting acclimatization and other functional conditions.

A poetic sense combined with an ecological awareness has created a new best practice for public spaces in a very urban context.

Link to SLA