Red Cross Volunteer House

cobe rode kors exterior cobe rode kors exterior
A building turned
into a public space

Year: First prize in competition 2013, completed 2017

Client: Danish Red Cross and A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til Almene Formål

Program: House for the volunteers of Danish Red Cross including exhibition and workshop spaces, incident rooms, conference rooms and café

Size: 750 m²

We live in times with an increasing need to lift welfare tasks across sectors. Four out of ten Danes are involved in volunteer work, totalling an estimated 900,000 daily work hours representing a value of more than DKK 200 mill. a day. The Danish Red Cross numbers 32,000 volunteers alone, handling important social tasks. To celebrate the huge potential of activating the civil society, the extension to the organization’s headquarters had to be an open, generous and democratic building. Shaped as a triangle with a publicly accessible roof surface, the Volunteer House is designed with the ambition of being inviting and encouraging passers-by to come in and explore. This is a building for the Red Cross volunteers to meet and share knowledge, but it is also a public space for everyone.

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The building is intended for involvement and commitment and is an important meeting place for anyone wishing to contribute to the Red Cross' efforts to help people in need.

A celebration of
civil involvement
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How to design a building for thousands of users? A group of volunteers from the Red Cross was involved in shaping the building throughout the design phase.

cobe rode kors models

Many different options were explored before settling on the final design.

The building is a celebration of the overarching goal of creating incentives for civil engagement in the world. The overlap of civil, public and private interest in creating a social sustainable society.

cobe rode kors exterior

The Red Cross Volunteer House is an extension of the Danish Red Cross headquarters, a modernistic building from the 1950s originally designed as the head office for the regional government of the greater Copenhagen area.

cobe rode kors exterior

The Red Cross headquarters before the extension was built.

The shared goal for everyone involved in the process was to end up with a building that gave back new quality to the street, the park and the surrounding urban space by adding something extra.

cobe rode kors diagram

The stands: Like a streetscape that has been cut open and folded, the building simultaneously serves as stands, stairs, a terrace and a roof. Inside, the spacious triangle is connected to the existing office building.

cobe rode kors diagram

The cut-outs: The life of the surrounding city is invited in, and the activities inside the building are put on display through big cut-outs carved out of the roof surface.

cobe rode kors diagram

The public building: On the outside, the building is transformed into a vibrant public space for the neighbourhood.

cobe rode kors exterior
cobe rode kors exterior

The users agreed that the roof of the Volunteer House should be an active part of the building – a fifth façade. South-facing stands for the public to relax and enjoy the sun.

cobe rode kors interior
cobe rode kors interior
cobe rode kors interior

The heart of the Volunteer House is defined by the open foyer space that connects to all levels of the building.

cobe rode kors interior
cobe rode kors interior crowd
cobe rode kors detail interior
cobe rode kors interior crowd

Urban life is invited up and into the building, where the activities of the inside are put on display through carved-out openings in the large roof surface.

cobe rode kors exterior

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Client: Danish Red Cross and A.P. Møller og Hustru Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Fond til Almene Formål

Program: House for the volunteers of Danish Red Cross including exhibition and workshop spaces, incident rooms, conference rooms and café

Size: 750 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2013, completed 2017

Collaborators: The volunteers of Danish Red Cross, Søren Jensen, PK3, C.C. Brun Enterprise

Awards: Architizer A+ Awards 2019 Finalist, Dezeen Awards 2019 Finalist

Team: Andreas Jørgensen, Antonia Szabo, Bart Smets, Caroline Krogh Andersen, Christian Sander, Dan Stubbergaard, Gloria Castellini, Greta Tiedje, Hannes Kalau Vom Hofe, Helen Chen, Izabela Slodka, Jacob Lantow, Jan Jungclaus, Kristoffer Harling, Marianne Filtenborg, Martin Jonsbak Nielsen, Martina Pedersen, Matti Hein Nørgaard, Mikkel Møltoft Jensen, Milan Milenkovski, Monika Wozniak, Morten Andersen, Nina Mathiesen, Oskar Tranum Mortensen, Peter Laust Røhr Hønnicke, Rachel Wan, Rasmus Jessing, Sonia Bom, Sune Mogensen, Ted Schaumann, Tim Frausing.

Photographer: Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

Image credits: Please note that we have 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.