Realdania launches the search for an architect for the Brewery Site in Copenhagen

Pressemeddelelse 31. marts 2009

The aim is to create a building of very high architectonic quality and to fortify the neighbourhood and the link between the city and the harbour. The task of finding a highly qualified architect of international stature who can design a world-class landmark on the Brewery Site in Copenhagen is now under way.

The Realdania Foundation acquired the Brewery Site at the turn of year, through its subsidiary Realea A/S. March 31st marks the public announcement of the program for the selection of an architect for the design of a building for the Brewery Site. With this the building project has thus moved an important step closer to its realization.

The building is to house the Danish Architecture Center, a bookshop and a café on its ground floor. The building is also to include offices and residential units. The Realdania Foundation itself is expected to occupy a smaller portion of the new building. New public spaces are to be established along the fairway of the Inner Harbour and Frederiksholms Canal, incorporating a first-rate playground within the building scheme either on the promenade or on the water.

”We hope to assemble a number of activities pertaining to building within a single building, and that the building will be of exceptional architectonic quality. At the same time we very much hope that the building will generate more life in the neighbourhood around the Brewery Site, and that we will help strengthen the neighbourhood as an active connection between the city and the harbour,” to quote Flemming Borreskov, CEO of the Realdania Foundation.

The Brewery Site is the last undeveloped site on the harbourfront in the centre of Copenhagen. The site is located just north of the Langebro bridge, between Vester Voldgade and Frederiksholms Canal, and is neighboured by Christian IV’s Brewery, the Royal Library – “The Black Diamond”, Søren Kierkegaards Plads, the “Materialgården” building and the residential building “Ny Christiansborg”.

An important part of the process is the identification, through an interview-based competition, of a highly qualified architect of international stature who can actively engage in the development of the building on the Brewery Site. This is, in Danish terms, an untraditional approach. According to Flemming Borreskov: “We are first of all looking to select an architect and not a project, thus there is not mention of a traditional architecture competition. The advantage of this is the active role that the architect can come to play, in collaboration with us and the other consultants, in programming the overall project, where there still are a number of open-ended questions.“

The architect will be selected on the basis of architectonic vision, competences, qualifications of key employees and experience with comparable projects. The architect will not be selected on the basis of a concrete project rendered for the Brewery Site. The selection of a contractor and an engineer will be according to the same principles.

The architect’s task will be, together with the other consultants and contractors, to prepare a concept plan for the building design and content. It is to be a plan that fulfils the high aspirations and objectives, complying with the basic ideas of the building project and supporting the correlation with the unique historic and urban context.

Advance invitations and prequalification
Realdania has invited three architects firms in advance: the Dutch office of Rem Koolhaas / OMA, the Swiss office of Herzog & de Meuron and the Italian office of Renzo Piano.

Realdania is looking to prequalify an additional 3 to 5 architect firms. Thus the invitation to interested and worthy architect firms to participate in the prequalification round. The deadline for applications for pre-qualification is April 21st, 2006.

Assessment Committee
The following Assessment Committee has been appointed to assist Realdania with the prequalification and selection of an architect: CEO of the Realdania Foundation Flemming Borreskov, Executive Director of the Realdania Foundation Hans Peter Svendler, Managing Director of Realea A/S Peter Cederfeld, Chief Planner of the Municipality of Copenhagen Holger Bisgaard, City Architect of the Municipality of Copenhagen Jan Christiansen, Managing Director of the Danish Architecture Centre Kent Martinussen, Rector of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture Sven Felding and the former Director of City Planning of Malmö, Sweden Mats Olsson.  

In April Realdania will release two reports about the area. The first report is an historic account of the area’s development prepared by the Danish Council for the Building Heritage. The second report is an urban space analysis and a catalogue of ideas prepared by Gehl Architects.
Both reports can be downloaded from the Realdania website: www.realdania.dk when they are ready.