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Sara Johnson, Hanley Wood Media

Project Name


Project Status

Concept Proposal


484,376 sq. feet


CPH City & Port Development


  • Landscape Architect: Inside Outside
  • Other: Via Trafik
  • Other: Transsolar

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Project Description

FROM THE ARCHITECTS (Feb. 11, 2016):

Today, the winner of the international competition regarding a masterplan for Christiansholm island in Copenhagen’s inner harbour was announced to be COBE together with Inside Outside, Via Trafik and Transsolar. The winning proposal builds on the provisional urban life that already exists today on the island by replacing the existing warehouses with new Copenhagen Halls containing informal, public functions, and housing on top.

In April 2015 CPH City & Port Development, owner of Christiansholm, organized an international competition for a new masterplan for Christiansholm - also known as the Paper Island having stored huge rolls of newsprint for decades for the Danish press. This afternoon, the Danish architecture firm COBE was announced as the winner together with Dutch landscape architects Inside Outside, Danish traffic engineers Via Trafik and German climate engineers Transsolar.

The 29.000 m2 artificial Island in the heart of Copenhagen’s inner harbour front, and also the home of COBE’s own studio, has a very prominent location right next to the Opera House and the Royal Danish Playhouse. Despite the prime location, Christiansholm is the last undeveloped quay along Copenhagen’s inner waterfront.

The winning proposal builds on the provisional urban life that is already on the island and proposes to replace the existing old warehouses with new ones containing informal, public functions such as an event hall, a gallery hall, and a new swimming hall. Housing and commercial use will be placed on top of the halls, which encircles a green and intimate courtyard. The whole island will be flanked by a public promenade.

“Our vision for the island’s future is to create a place that celebrates the city’s culture and the Copenhagen way of life. It was important for us that Christiansholm also in future will be a first class example of Copenhagen’s generous urban living that can attract tourists and visitors at the same time has a strong local presence,” says Dan Stubbergaard, Owner and Creative Director at COBE.

An important driver in ensuring that Christianholm becomes a cultural destination for all Copenhageners is the Municipality’s decision to build a new swimming facility on the island.

Christiansholm, or the Paper Island as it is colloquially known, has for decades been occupied by the Danish press. In 2013, the Procurement Association of the Danish Press left the island after having used it for newspaper storage for more than 50 years.

In the few years that have passed since Christiansholm was opened to the public it has become an attraction for Copenhageners, visitors and tourists alike. The island has been inhabited by the creative industry and public functions such as the science center Experimentarium City and Copenhagen Street Food that together attract more than 350,000 visitors annually.

“COBE has been working with architecture in Copenhagen for the last decade, and Christiansholm is a particularly important place for us, having our studio on the island. With its central location and significant neighbors Christiansholm is a place that very much puts us under an obligation. We are so proud to have won this competition and can’t wait to get started on the further development of the masterplan in collaboration with CPH City & Port Development,” says Dan Stubbergaard.

CPH City & Port Development invited 7 teams to compete for the Christiansholm masterplan. The six other teams were led by OMA, MVRDV, Henning Larsen Architects, C.F Møller, Adept and Holscher Nordberg + Polyform, respectively. The competition ran from October to December 2015.

”We know COBE as a professional collaborator from the development of Nordhavn among other things. With the winning proposal we have taken a big step forward in the development of Christiansholm, which is the crown jewel of the inner harbour with its central location right across from the Royal Danish Playhouse. The winning project is a strong and visionary proposal for a new Copenhagen neighbourhood with the Municipality’s new swimming facility, urban life, housing and a unifying waterfront boardwalk,” says CEO of CPH City & Port Development, Jens Kramer Mikkelsen.

In the coming months COBE will further develop the winning proposal for the masterplan in collaboration with CPH City & Port Development, the City of Copenhagen and CØ p/s who will be responsible for the future development of Christiansholm.
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