people and bicycles
For a long time, the university square has been a dull grey parking area for bikes, in an unfriendly scale and with no spatial hierarchy. Although it was one of the biggest public spaces in the city, it was also one that few people used.
The university square is arranged as a superimposed surface of hills and valleys with room for 2,000 parked bicycles. The heart of the campus nestles among the hills and valleys, providing a central urban living room that connects the three main entrances of the university.
The result is a campus square that offers a variety of urban spaces, which are well connected to the city fabric and easily accessible for all users.
The campus square with its adjacent greenery and bicycle hills has a floating surface, evoking the impression of an undulating urban carpet. The bicycle hills are integrated into this floating carpet, providing covered bicycle parking underneath.
A double layer of programming turns dull bicycle infrastructure into an interesting and inviting public space and student hang-out.
Copenhagen is one of the world’s leading bicycle cities, with more than 40 per cent of the city’s inhabitants riding their bike for their daily commute. That requires a new and flexible approach to bicycle parking. In previous projects we have developed innovative bicycle parking solutions that form a natural element in the environment. By Nørreport Station, for example, we created the so-called bicycle beds, and here, at Karen Blixen Plads, the solution is bicycle hills. The integrated hilly landscape creates a space with a large capacity for bicycles, two-thirds of them in covered spaces inside the bicycle hills.Dan Stubbergaard, architect and founder, Cobe
Between the hills and the main connecting infrastructure lies the heart of the university. As a natural meeting place, the area offers a flexible zone where many different activities can unfold, including informal breaks, lectures, group work or events outside of school hours, serving as an urban living room.
park become one
The connection to Amager Commons is created as a gradual transition from the urban university square to the greenery that naturally merges the green and urban spaces and materials.
This creates a fine balance between the urban character of the university campus and the open natural space of Amager Commons.
an organized landscape
of bicycle hills
The bespoke solution creates three types of bicycle parking – uncovered, covered and slightly sunken into the terrain – and creates a landscape of hills that people can walk on top of or sit among in addition to using the bicycle parking.
The bicycle hills are created as iconic concrete domes with a shell construction as the load-bearing structure.
The almost cathedral-like form of the bicycle hills further offers an aesthetic experience in its own right, both when people park their bikes and when they use the hills for lectures, group work, concerts or Friday afternoon socializing.
At night, the bicycle hills are lit from within. The lighting gives Karen Blixens Plads a warm and safe atmosphere in the dark.