Ian Ritchie Architects

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Danish Broadcasting Headquarters

Danish Broadcasting Headquarters: PerspectiveWe were selected as one of three international practices to compete for the design of the new headquarters and production facilities for DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.

The brief was for a master plan to amalgamate all administrative and production facilities for Danish television and radio and to create an open and publicly permeable complex which will respond to the new challenges of digital broadcasting including two new public concert halls.

The site is located in Ørestad, a new neighbourhood forming part of a larger master plan expansion of Copenhagen south towards the airport, with new transport links, an urban canal, extensive landscaping and with sites for major public, educational and commercial buildings.

The DR complex is located adjacent to the National Archive currently under construction. It is crossed by the North/South urban canal which terminates here as well as a high level Metro link with a Metro station nearby.

Our objectives for the project were:
Socially: create extended links into the surrounding communities and provide a new major public space where the public activities of DR could be celebrated.
Physically: create a permeable urban environment which links to existing networks.
Environmentally: develop intelligently designed buildings and public spaces and encourage pedestrian and cycle friendly routes between and through them.
Economically: help create the development framework for other local businesses to develop.

Danish Broadcasting Headquarters: Garden concept

Our master plan concept sought to create a major public space, a destination defined and informed by the physical structures and activities of DR. The plan is articulated by a raised wall of buildings defining the site perimeter and the canal flooding out to form a large body of water with a peninsula upon which is sited the major concert hall. The raised wall of the buildings creates double height spaces or voids which contain public facilities such as exhibition spaces, public studios, cafes, and crèches. As well as defining the public space, it also encourages a sense of permeability with the landscape and urban fabric beyond. To the west and south the wall is perforated by the Metro line which breaks in and out of the complex. The concert halls, with an adjacent public parking block, also break through the west wall, forming connections to transport and service links beyond.

The landscape concept developed in association with Büro Wehberg Eppinger Schmidtke is a “green urban harbour” within the public space. The concert peninsula is planted with a grid of trees contrasting with the surrounding “wild” Faelleden landscape. The meandering canal of the Faelleden landscape to the west is allowed to invade this more formally structured urban space. Canal bridges connect the concert peninsula to the east bank. The landscape is extended to roof level above the production studios which are planted with sedum album and 10m tall planting frames set to the same grid as the trees. The roof of the North/South block is planted with the “satellite grove”.

Danish Broadcasting Headquarters

Copenhagen, Denmark

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