Frederiksgade office extension

Project: Frederiksgade office extension, 350 m2

Client: Undisclosed

Place: Frederiksstaden, Copenhagen

Year: 2016 -

Project phases: Sketch proposal – Detailed design

Team: Kasper Ax, Thomas Jensen, David Goehring, David Ole Wolthers, Elia Giampellegrini, Sepideh Garivani

Status: Building permit

Collaborators: Rambøll DK, Art Andersen

Frederiksstaden in central Copenhagen is one of the most important examples of rococo architecture in Europe. It was planned and designed in the latter part of the 1700’s, during the reign of King Frederik V of Denmark, under supervision of architect Nicolai Eigtved. The main axis of the city plan connects the Frederiks Church (Marble Church) with the Amalienborg Palace which is the main residence of the current reign, and has since been extended across the Copenhagen harbor to reach the new Copenhagen Opera. This project is located in the courtyard of one of the buildings facing Frederiksgade (the main axis) immediately adjacent to the Amalienborg Palace, and will therefore be part of an area in Copenhagen which has immense historical and cultural value.

AJGA were commissioned to develop a strategy on how to tie the traditional courtyard building together as it, for unknown reasons, was never closed and hence has been left with a gap in the building volume in the northern wing since its origin, which dates back to the 1700’s. While the project involved a relatively simple programmatical task of adding approximately 60m2 of extra office space per floor, the design task was complex in terms of living up to the modern day building requirements both in terms of aestheitc language, building technique, building regulations, adapting to the current conditions and not the least public opinion.

Various different design strategies and iterations were investigated and tested, before it was decided to develop a scheme that is radically different from the existing building design in terms of its material expression, but at the same time implements clear references to the architectural language of its immediate neighborhood. Architectural features such as arcs- and counter arcs, slim mullions, light, proportions and symmetry play an important part of the design language in order to achieve a design that pays respect to its prominent location.

In order to achieve a refined, light expression to the additional building mass the design has been planned carefully through the use of various digital workflows, which includes the mapping of the existing conditions through 3d scanning and drone footage to provide accurate data for the fabrication of the various, complex facade elements. The building is made up of a double glazed facade facing the courtyard, where the inner layer secures a pleasant, energy efficient, and naturally lit interior, while the outer layer is made up of operable, single glazing that allows natural ventilation to cool the building during the warm months and provide a more comfortable exterior space during the cold months.