Great danes: Denmark’s new architecture has bite

Great danes: Denmark’s new architecture has bite

At the forefront of modern architecture, Denmark is striking a balance between humanism and sky-high experimentation. From a Panda pen designed by BIG, to Dorte Mandrup’s skyscraper proposal that will soar past the Shard; from a rooftop ski-slope, to a plan for a series of islets inaccessible to humans...

Denmark is internationally renowned for its thoughtful architecture and urban planning, which places an emphasis on structures and spaces that give more than they take; a process that involves thinking about the city, as well as its inhabitants’ needs. This ideal is strongly supported by the government’s current Danish Architectural Policy, which encourages placing people first by ‘shaping society into a form that is characterised by humanism’. Its guidelines also stress the importance of progression and experimentation in the built environment.

As well as having a particularly human-centric and environmentally sensitive approach, this Nordic country is a long established world leader in design and architecture innovation with powerhouses from Arne Jacobson, right up to today’s Bjarke Ingels and Dorte Mandrup – the list can go on and on – playing a key part in Denmark’s architectural identity.

‘Denmark is full of designs that push the boundaries in different ways’

Often operating internationally, these influential architects have changed the skylines of cities around the globe. It’s easy to assume that their home country is chock full of astounding architectural feats, and it is. Famed projects from the Copenhagen Opera House designed by Henning Larsen to the Blue Planet aquarium by 3XN, Denmark is no stranger to dramatic structures.

But what current and planned projects do the Danes have up their sleeves? In line with the Danish design tradition that encourages architects to be experimental and willing to step outside of their comfort architecture zone to investigate new ideas, the future of architecture in Denmark is full of designs that push the boundaries in different ways. Take a look for yourselves...

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