national + provincial archives copenhagen
The focal point of the design for the National and Provincial Archives is the dynamic 246-foot-high storage tower. The documents are housed in one of five large blind boxes which are arranged in a sculptural manner around a central circulation core. The tower forges a relationship with the other distinctive towers of the Copenhagen skyline. Establishing the tower as a new landmark for Copenhagen was a clear goal of the project, not only in recognition of the importance of the archival materials, but also in order to position the building prominently as the clearly recognizable centrepiece for, and point of orientation in, the new city district.
A progressive energy concept foresaw one of the largest passively climatised facilities in the world - with underground seasonal stores and extensive arrays of solar absorbers.
The organization of the building is a direct and logical response to the handling, cataloguing and storage of vast amounts of irreplaceable original documents that are several centuries old. Incoming documents are initially taken care of in the workshops, sorting rooms, and depots, which are located over the two lower levels around the document reception area. They are then transferred to the extensive compact shelving in the distinctive tower.
Documents are made accessible to the public in the reading rooms. These are raised on a plinth-like form, and together with the entrance foyer, restaurant, library, with seminar and conference facilities, constitute the public areas. These offer panoramic views out over the natural landscape of Amager Faelled and the city skyline. Visitors enter the building from the southwest via the generous, inclined entrance plaza. This forms part of a distinctive new landscape. Floating above the plaza is the administration, which is located over the three floors of the ‘office wing’.
National and Provincial Archives, Copenhagen 1998-2002
project development with Behnisch, Behnisch + Partner (now Behnisch Architekten)