Køge Culture House

cobe koge culture house exterior cobe koge culture house exterior
A frame
for culture

Year: Competition 2013

Client: City of Køge and Realdania

Program: Culture house, library, theater and music school

Size: 6,000 m²

A modern cultural center is a setting for people to meet. It is the city’s living room. How to contain the diversity of people and functions in a single building? And how to adjust this comparatively large volume to the small-town scale of Køge? Our answer is the creation of a large cultural framework – a big roof and timber structure covering a “village” of five smaller buildings within the big building, housing numerous informal spaces and an interior plaza. The wooden frame is both a sustainable and climate-friendly solution as well as a reference to Køge’s many historic half-timbered houses. By densifying the wooden structure, it in essence becomes a ubiquitous bookshelf and a flexible frame for cultural events and exhibitions.

cobe koge culture house exterior

Køge Culture House is designed with the vision of creating a modern cultural meeting place inspired by Køge’s unique and historic city center, defined by its many half-timbered houses, including the oldest in Denmark from 1527.

A modern cultural center should facilitate the opportunity of meetings between people. It should be the city's living room, the most public, open and popular building in the city. A place that is worth a visit for all generations.

Connecting the
historic city with the
redeveloped harbour

Køge’s new cultural center is located between the historic, small-scale city of Køge and the large, industrial harbor, currently being developed into a new sustainable urban district. The cultural center will be an important link between these two areas and should combine the scale of the individual and the community by supplying a variety of formal and informal spaces.

cobe koge culture house diagram

Køge Culture House and the Cultural Plaza creates a meeting point between the historic city and the harbor.

040a cobe koge culture house diagram

Two scales meet within the cultural center: the small individual houses of Køge city center and the large flexible halls of the industrial harbor.

cobe koge culture house exterior

Using timber as the main construction material gives Køge Culture House a warm and inviting expression. Furthermore, timber not only absorbs and stores CO2 when produced, it is also one of the only building materials with a negative CO2 footprint.

Urban space becomes
cultural space
cobe koge culture house diagram

The ground floor of the Cultural Center is an extension of the public space. An interior passage and plaza connects interior and exterior.

The new cultural center as a public living room for Køge

cobe koge culture house interior

The culture house is a public living room for the city of Køge. An interior urban square becomes the interior of the culture house.

cobe koge culture house model
A frame
for culture
cobe koge culture house exterior

The historic half-timbered houses are a reference for the new setting of culture in Køge.

The cultural center is anchored in Køge’s historic city center and its diverse cultural scene. The building’s expression with a visible wooden structure is inspired by the city’s fine and distinctive half-timbered houses. In the new cultural center, the timbered building is given a new function as a setting for culture.

cobe koge culture house exterior

The cultural center consists of a frame embracing the individual houses within.

cobe koge culture house diagram

The small scale is represented in the units within.

cobe koge culture house diagram

The framework is an interpretation of the large scale of the harbor and ties the smaller units together into a unified setting.

cobe koge culture house exterior model

Buildings within a building

cobe koge culture house exterior model

The cultural center consist of five houses, which are inhabited by different cultural functions. Different needs, demands and spatial areas shape the characteristic of each individual house.

cobe koge culture house exterior diagram

A large atrium creates the interior public square, the heart of the building where everyone can meet. The “building within a building” concept creates a versatile venue with large flexible and open spaces as well as small pockets and niches.

cobe koge culture house interior
cobe koge culture house diagram

The music zone contains music literature and instruments directly adjacent to rehearsal rooms. A place enveloped in music.

cobe koge culture house diagram

A communal kitchen, café and food literature, all in one place.

cobe koge culture house diagram

A zone for children that contains the children’s library.

A dynamic frame for culture – robust and flexible

cobe koge culture house diagram

The two multipurpose halls are like day and night: A light, flying space and a heavy, underground cave. The top hall is a dance studio, while the hall below ground is a concert hall.


cobe koge culture house interior

The bright performance space

cobe koge culture house interior

The underground hall

cobe koge culture house interior

Location: Køge, Denmark

Client: City of Køge and Realdania

Program: Culture house, library, theater and music school

Size: 6,000 m²

Year: Competition 2013

Collaborators: Buro Happold, DEM - Danish Energy Management, LIW planning

Team: Dan Stubbergaard, Eik Bjerregaard, Greta Tiedje, Mateusz Mastalski, Ole Storjohan, Claes Nilsson, Martin Jonsbak Nielsen, Rasmus Hjortshøj, Frederik Lyng, Kaisa Lillemets

Image Credits: Please note that we had used a small number of images for which the copyright holders could not be identified. In these cases it has been our assumption that such images belong to the public domain. If you claim ownership of any of the images presented and have not been properly identified, please notify Cobe and we will make a formal acknowledgement.