Norreport Station Copenhagen
Nørreport Station is the busiest station in Denmark with roughly 250,000 people bustling through it daily. The new Nørreport station is composed of a series of rounded, floating roofs, mounted on striking glass pavilions. The redesign and redevelopment of Nørreport Station is the outcome of the collaborative efforts of Gottlieb Paludan Architects and COBE. Urban Life, passenger flow, transparency and accessibility are key values of the project. It has become a well-functioning station in an urban space with good user flow and a strong urban pulse.
The project fell into three sub-projects: the urban space sub-project with new designs of the station forecourt and buildings, pavings and surfacings, bicycle parking, access and traffic arrangements; modernization of the platform for long-distance trains; and concrete renovation of the bridge structures supporting the ground above the station. The needs of vulnerable road users were generally prioritized via rerouting and reducing vehicular traffic. Key values were urban life, passenger flow, wayfinding and accessibility.
A study of pedestrians’ preferred routes has formed the basis for the station’s new design, providing an open and welcoming public space with specific thought directed to the needs of cyclists and pedestrians.
Ample bike parking will be a main feature accommodating 2,500 parking lots for bikes. In order to create a clear hierarchy between the area for bicycles and the area for city life, all bicycle parking is placed 40 cm below the city floor – as sunken ‘bicycle beds’.
Furthermore 11 ventilation towers will be placed on the plaza surrounding the train station. they will provide fresh air to the underlying train platforms. the towers will also function as lighting on the plaza and as digital information pillars with fully integrated LED screens for information about train departures, cultural events, advertisement etc.
Nørreport, the busiest station in Denmark, has undergone a highly successful conversion. The old, dark nooks and crannies have disappeared, making way for open, inviting buildings in a streamlined public space. It was an excellent idea to unite the station as a thoroughfare with the public space as a place to spend time in. Both elements have been equally successful.
Gottlieb Paludan Architects + COBE Architects:
Nørreport Station in Copenhagen is Denmark’s busiest transport hub. It was originally established in 1916, modernised in 1934 and in need of fundamental renovation in 2012. Following three years of construction work, the station in the heart of Copenhagen has been transformed into an open and accessible urban space with clear focus on the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.
The few buildings on the forecourt are built mainly in glass and have rounded shapes, providing room for the constant swarm of people and emphasizing the clarity and natural flow of the layout, which gives people a sense of security. Materials are simple with natural surfaces, securing low maintenance demands– white concrete, granite, glass and stainless steel. When darkness falls, the lighting becomes a feature as well as a means of navigation and the towers ventilating the underground platforms rise as luminous landmarks for the area.
This cohesive space has no backs or corners. The design and layout of the buildings and bicycle parking facilities on the forecourt are based on a study of the flows of pedestrians from the surrounding roads and across the forecourt or down the stairs into the station.
The forecourt has been designed as an extension of the city’s ‘floor’ and direct pedestrian access has been established from the surrounding pedestrianized zones to the station forecourt, while vehicular traffic has been redirected, leaving only one traffic artery north of the station. Parking facilities have been made for 2100 bicycles on the forecourt in the so-called ‘bicycle beds’ which are recessed in relation to the general surface of the forecourt in order to secure a clear hierarchy and unobstructed views of the space as a whole.
The station and the forecourt are used by about 350,000 train passengers and passers-by on a daily basis, making it Denmark’s busiest transport hub. Therefore, the efficiency of the flows created was a crucial aspect of the project proposal from the outset. In addition, priority was given to making space for urban life and activities and to creating an intense, urban atmosphere which reflects the vibrant, dynamic metropolitan city of Copenhagen. In line with this idea, the parked bicycles are not hidden away; on the contrary, they are on display as an important aspect of the life of the city and of Copenhagen’s identity as the world’s best city for cyclists.
What was a tired urban space characterized as chaotic, unsafe and noisy is after the transformation characterized as a place where safety, comfort and efficiency are the key words and the daily user is in focus. In contrast to before, the area is now a place where people sit down, take a break and watch the world go by.
Gottlieb Paludan Architects and COBE designed the new station and forecourt with all its functions and facilities, having submitted the winning entry in the international architectural competition in 2009. SWECO (previously Grontmij) was engineering consultant and Bartenbach was in charge of lighting design.
Project name: Nørreport Station
Location: 1358 Copenhagen, Denmark
Coordinates: 55.683126, 12.571504
Type: Terminal / Station
Program: Renovation of Nørreport Station
Size: 10.500 m2 urban space, 2,500 parking lots for bikes
Completion Year: 2015
Client / Owner / Developer: Banedanmark, DSB, Copenhagen Local Authority
- Gottlieb Paludan Architects – Orientkaj 4, Copenhagen, Denmark
- COBE Architects – Trangravsvej 6, 1436 Copenhagen K Denmark
- Gottlieb Paludan Team: Marianne C. Jørgensen, Søren Gjerlev, Preben Bang, Jens Peter Jørgensen, Kenneth Bengtsson Hansen, Ditte Holmgaard Griebel, Cyril Olsen
- COBE Team: Dan Stubbergaard, Mads Birgens Kristensen, Thomas Krarup, Caroline Nagel, Johanne Holmsberg, Rosanna Borsotti, Mateusz Mastalski, Tabea Treier, Karl Love Sverud, Rasmus Bernhard Nielsen, Morten Emil Engel