Amplasament / Location: Norrebro, Copenhaga (Danemarca) / Copenhagen (Denmark) Design / Planning: 2007 Construcție / Construction: 2011 Suprafață / Size: 39.000 mp / sqm Client / Client: Realdania & the Community of Copenhagen Echipă / Team: TOPOTEK 1, B.I.G. Architects, Superflex
Superkilen is a heterogenous site-collage in a dense, centrally located neighbourhood in Copenhagen. The strongly international quarter with a mix of different cultures is to be revitalized using open space as a physical framework. This space is to be propelled beyond its current role as a mono-functional transit area into being innovative and dense with synchronicities. Accordingly, the concept aims at enhancing the diverse characters of its protagonists and within the site. A black square, a red square and a green park will be the matrix of dialogue with the realities of Superkilen. As part of this dialogue, the design reattributes an essential motif from garden-history. In the garden, the translocation of an ideal, the reproduction of a another place, of a far off landscape, is a common theme through time.
Where the historic Chinese garden features miniature rock formations of famous mountain ranges, the Japanese zen garden abstracts the sea into waves of gravel. The historic gardens in Florence or Versaille are loaden with allegorical depictions and the historic English landscape garden showcases replications of Greek ruins. In Superkilen this theme finds a contemporary, an urban form: a global, universal garden. Here, the transfer of significative elements from other places and cultures reflects the multi-ethnic structure of the neighborhood and activates it.
The furnishing of Superkilen is developed from an international catalogue of urban design elements. In many months of workshops and conversations with residents and local associations the creativity and fantasy of the quarter has been mobilized. Civic participation has been developed as a motor for the design principle of multitude. Round benches, fountains, lamps, fitness equipment and sundry more now projects Superkilen’s diversity and international personality onto the matrix of a versatile neighborhood park.
The light advertisements from many countries on the red square are probably the most obvious markers of this cultural transfer. The imported advertisement alienates the place in an almost theatrical way. The commercial objects, all begging for attention, actually fall short of their culturally specific target group. In the process, however, they become ambassadors and activists of a global urban culture. The synchronously staged repertoire of advertisements illuminates and mobilizes the neighborhood’s international character in times of information and communication. Meanwhile, the flashing neon advertisement for a Japanese pachinko parlour surprises and astonishes as much as historic chinoseries in a landscape garden, while telephone cells from Latinamerica create the flicker of an illusion of a beach promenade.