Henning Larsen is teaming up with Ramboll to develop one of Denmark’s largest wooden structures, ‘Marmormolen’. This large building comprises offices, retails and public programs on the famous Nordhavn waterfront.
The carbon emissions from the building industry took centre stage at the recently concluded COP26, with the urgent appeal for course correction in resource use and construction methods. Concrete contributes 8% of all carbon emissions worldwide. Timber has emerged as a viable alternative due to its abundant availability and ability to sequester tons of carbon, instead of emitting tons.
Developed for Denmark’s AP Pension, the 28,000 sq.m. wooden structure rises to eight storeys towards the street and steps down to three floors towards the neighbouring houses. This design gesture avoids blocking natural light access for the neighbours while creating rooftop terraces all around.
Divided into smaller cubes to break the scale of the large structure, each block offers terraces and gardens, featuring rooftop farming, beehives, promoting biodiversity around the development. For the 36-storey tall building, timber will be sourced from neighbouring countries like Germany and Sweden.
“Today, it is imperative that architecture challenges our usual notion of structures and materials. The construction industry is a major emitter of CO2, and we, therefore, also have great opportunities to make things better,” says Søren Øllgaard, Partner & Design Director, Henning Larsen.
“We’re excited to be working with AP Pension on a project that puts sustainability and sustainable strategies such as the U’s Sustainable Development Goals first.”
According to the architects, Marmormolen is ideally located, surrounded by a green urban plaza to the south and upcoming waterfront park, supported by urban life, shops, restaurants and public transport nearby.
Designed to click into its urban context, the ground plane is an open, flexible space that invites the community and becomes an extension of the public waterfront.
Responding to its multi-user profile, the ground floor provides amenities with the ability to be converted into a public eatery and venue for theatres and flea markets. The open ground floor connects the visitors to the internal courtyard, which is open to the sky, bringing light and ventilation to the workplace inside.
The public nature of the building is extended to its rooftop, with tenants and visitors being able to enjoy the view of the sea and the skyline of Copenhagen.
“Workplaces used to be very interior and exclusive, but people today want to feel they are a part of a more diverse community and open up to their surroundings. With Marmormolen, we want to create more than a great office building; we also want the building to give something back to the city and make it come alive – even outside office hours,” says Mikkel Eskildsen, Associate Design Director and Lead Design Architect on the project.
With the evolving workplace culture, access to the outdoors and the opportunity to create connections has been shown to improve employee well-being. The design will be a prototype for designing large scale carbon positive timber buildings. The building is expected to break ground in early 2022 and to open by 2024.
Project Details: Marmormolen
Height: 36 meters / 118 ft
Size: 28,000 m2 / 300,000 ft2
Storeys: Eight Timber: The timber used will originate from Europe, most likely neighbouring countries such as Germany or Sweden.
Status: Groundbreaking early 2022, exp. opening 2024
Henning Larsen is one of Denmark's leading architectural firms and has realized projects all over the world. Founded by architect Henning Larsen in 1959, the company is globally recognized for its aesthetic, sustainable and social architecture. Henning Larsen's many iconic projects include everything from standalone buildings to landscapes to large urban development projects. These include Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Center (2011) in Reykjavik, Iceland, Moesgaard Museum (2013) in Aarhus, Denmark, and the development of Cockle Bay Park, a 73,000 m2 high-rise building in central Sydney, Australia. In 2019 Henning Larsen became part of Ramboll with all architecture, landscape, urban planning, graphic design, interior and lighting design gathered under the Henning Larsen brand. Henning Larsen and Ramboll have a shared ambition to be a global frontrunner in sustainable solutions.
Ramboll is a global engineering, architecture and consultancy company with a leading edge in creating sustainable cities and societies. Our 16,000 experts drive sustainable change within Buildings, Transport, Water, Environment & Health, Architecture & Landscape, Energy and Management Consulting. The Ramboll Group is owned by the Ramboll Foundation, an ownership model that makes it possible to reinvest revenue in the company's continued development and innovation.