In Spring 2010, URBAN AGENCY was appointed the winner of the competition for new housing at the Sommerlyst site in Holmbladsgade, Copenhagen. The completed project is realized as twenty-eight units of social housing. The house enjoys a vivid landscape of roof terraces and balconies, which also provide access to the housing units themselves. This creates a safe and socially well-functioning environment for the inhabitants. The units are large family houses – partly duplex housing units with double-height spaces and four rooms. The ground floor to the main street offers two business areas suitable for cafes, restaurants or office spaces, with the facade to the minor Geislersgade featuring small front gardens and small-scale, terrace house typologies. The brick facades fit well
WORKSPACES OF THE FUTURE
The new ‘Alpha-Beta-Gamma’ Campus located in Munich’s rapidly developing district, Werksviertel, is a prime example of an ambitious future-thinking campus project. The open floor plan and bright atrium utilized throughout the buildings create a lively atmosphere that allows the highest degree of internal communication and accessibility. The spatial boundaries are dissolved which creates a working environment that stimulates productivity through cooperation with an informal, relaxed atmosphere. The facade of such a complex must simultaneously express those values and standards outwards to create a vivid relationship between the inside and outside world. The ‘saw-tooth’ structure helps to create a playfully impactful design, the result is an ever-changing and shifting facade, which is either more open or closed depending on the vantage
FUTURE LANDMARK OF VÆRLØSE
The main square in Værløse, town located 15km away from Copenhagen, is a well-functioning trading center that boasts a wide range of stores, restaurants and cultural institutions such as a cinema, library and local culture house known as “Galaksen”. The spatial design of the square forms a coherent architectural expression in terms of shape and materials but currently lacks a strong identity and proper connection with the town’s second focal point; the train station. As both a combined junction and landmark, the Posthusgrunden will have two very important functions in the city structure. Located on an old post office site just between the main square and train station our project is set to be the missing link in the urban tissue and will act
ALMOST ALMOST THERE
Urban-Agency is delighted to see the progress on our Negok project in Seoul. With finished structure we are thrilled and excited to watch the building reaching it’s final appearance. The whole construction process is scheduled to finish in spring 2018. See more of the Negok project click here.
ART OF MANY AND THE RIGHT TO SPACE
EXHIBITION IN DANISH ARCHITECTURE CENTRE
The official Danish contribution to the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice is coming home to the Danish Architecture Centre. The exhibition, Art of Many and The Right to Space shows how Danish architects insist on creating high quality architecture to benefit the community as a whole – not just the select few. We are proud and honoured to be a part of the Danish Selection with 3 of our projects featured. Learn more about the exhibition here
FINALLY ON THE SITE
Urban Agency officially broke ground on the New Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge at Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour. First stage of the construction focuses on the rotating piers which later on will support elegant superstructure of our bridge. The completion of the development is expected in the middle of year 2018. See more of the project here.
IT’S A WINNER!
YEOUIDO MBC SITE REDEVELOPMENT
Urban Agency, in collaboration with NH Investment & Securities Co.LTD., GS Engineering & Construction Corp, Kian Architects and Mori Urban Planning have been selected for the redevelopment of the MBC Yeouido site, Seoul. The former MBC site will be strategically revitalized by our ambitious urban and architectural ideas to bring ‘cultural activity’ back to the site and create a 24-hour nonstop commercial, residential and cultural center in Yeouido Island. More materials about the project will be published soon!
YEOUINARU FERRY TERMINAL
Han river transportation hub
The new marina proposal for Yeouinaru Ferry Terminal, positioned above the undulating Han River in Seoul, presents as a smart typological transformation: the simple bar is transformed into a ‘knotted’ three-dimensional platform that promotes efficiency in the maintenance and structural safety of vessels. Continuously connected wooden surfaces in a 3D folded configuration give the impression of the user’s intimacy and connectivity to the water – blurring the line between outside waterfront and inside terminal facilities. Bar type marinas are efficient in the maintenance and structural safety of vessels and have a structure that supports the stable anchoring and management of ships with different sizes and usages. Hence, considering the efficiency and safety in the design, the bar type platform is
The proposal for the Foum El Oued Technopole in Morocco can be seen not only as an opportunity to design a new campus of innovative architecture, technological innovation and merit but equally an opportunity to rethink the campus typology and carefully examine the ways it should perform for the sake of its multiple users and in a climatically intense environment. The new campus is devoted to research, innovation and training in the fields of science and technology with intent also to encourage sustainable development of the local population and environment through meticulous and thoughtful design choices. This proposal’s ambition, in terms of its architecture, is to reflect the philosophy of the technopole: establishing a dynamic centre and reference point that
CALL OF DUTY
How do you increase the number of workstations while improving on the work space and environment? How do you retro-fit a 10 000 Sqft office without having to temporarily relocate the company or disturbing its day-to-day production? How do you design and deliver the project in three months to meet the annual budget deadline? These were some of the challenges we faced when invited to design the Dublin office for DemonWare, one of the leading tech companies in Ireland. The existing building was a monotonous cellular office typology with poor light quality and excessive noise. We interviewed all of the staff to determine their work habits and what they envisioned for the space and environment. Given the staff were all
Urban Agency’s curvaceous Creche called Hyde & Seek in Dublin really starts to take beautiful forms and spaces. The whole construction process is scheduled to finish in autumn 2017. See more of the Hyde & Seek project here.
LIVING IN-BETWEEN NATURE
Urban Agency, together with TNT Arkitekter, has been invited to design a new housing area in Nærheden located only 30min away from Copenhagen’s city center. With a high-density requirement, the challenge faced in this project was to create a cosy, diverse housing area without the feeling of being overcrowded and packed. The final urban planning of the estate is shaped by natural factors, it reacts to sunlight conditions and opens towards the green surroundings. With parking spots placed on the edge of the site, the central areas are saved for green, public squares dedicated for group activities of the inhabitants. The quality of the public spaces is enriched by an open water management system and lush vegetation matching the indigenous
The area around Dundrum has seen rapid change over the past two decades. The new buildings have brought a very different expression and scale to what was once a village on the outskirts of Dublin; sometimes bringing with it cautious scrutiny from pre-existing residents. The fact is that new apartment developments should have a solely positive impact on the local areas and provide long term gain to the surrounding residential amenity. The goal for 120 “build-to-rent” apartments at Greenacres is to provide a new residential development that will enhance the changing neighbourhood around Dundrum while also providing a scheme that is innovative, generous and of high quality that reflects the needs of contemporary life for all its prospective residents. Our
During a time with an ever-growing urban population every square metre of vacant space becomes an opportunity for positive development.Critically, in respect with its surroundings, the effort in maximising a “landlocked” site’s potential is challenging with factors such as overlooking, overshadowing, building heights etc to be addressed. Any new housing development should acknowledge and minimise its impact on surrounding existing structures. Our student accommodation project for 203 beds on Prussia Street had to address these factors and to be properly placed in the long-established residential community in the heart of Stoneybatter. With the addition of the new campus at DIT Grangegorman in the near future there is an opportunity to foster dialogue with existing and new residential communities. Key design
The neighbourhood surrounding Newmarket in the Liberties holds a distinct heritage within Dublin city. From its origins as a medieval outpost to the flourish of textile production in the 18th and 19th centuries, it is important that the centre preserves its identity as a hub for the community. We propose, at Urban Agency, to do this to the site around Newmarket Square with the creation of a high-quality, versatile square. With the rejuvenation of Newmarket Square, the neighbourhood gains a space for new cultural and commercial developments to establish and thrive. Not only this but similar to other once-dormant sections around the city (Smithfield etc.) the Square has the potential to become a well known and visited area of the
THE BEAUTY OF THE PLAN
Urban-Agency is delighted to see incredible progress on our unique project in Dublin! Located in Farrenboley, the interesting and innovative triangular family home is reaching it’s final shape and already shows the special quality of space arrangement.
CPH AIRPORT BRIDGE
NEW SHORTCUT FOR 2 MILLION USERS
URBAN AGENCY, in collaboration with TNT, have been selected to design a new bridge through Terminal 3 in the Copenhagen Airport. Our new pedestrian bridge will cross the existing terminal at first floor level and stretch over 92m in length. The bridge will smoothly lead the 2 million metro-passengers that arrive at the airport through the terminal and directly to the security area. The construction works started recently and will finish in 2018! For more information about the project please click here. See also our recent Urban Motion installation on the airport here.
TRANSFORMATION OF EXHIBITION CENTER
Although the MCH Messecenter in Herning is already the biggest exhibition centre in Denmark, that doesn’t hinder the plans for its future development from being very ambitious. URBAN AGENCY was invited to create a strategy that will make the complex a more attractive and coherent structure with a new focal point. The project aims to intersect two loops of circulation at the point of the new entrance to the building. The connecting routes are enriched by the presence of usable art (both permanent and temporal exhibitions) and plants (trees, green walls). The roof spreads over a circular space creating a unique event area, enhanced by versatile sloping ramps that are the perfect scenery for an outdoor concert but equally provide
MIES VAN DER ROHE NOMINATION
URBAN AGENCY ANNOUNCED AS A NOMINEE FOR 2017 EU PRIZE!
We are honored to announce that our Faaborg Harbour Bath is nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2017! The award is granted every two years to acknowledge and reward quality architectural production in Europe. The prize objectives aim at promoting and understanding the significance of quality and reflecting the complexity of Architecture’s own significance in terms of technological, constructional, social, economic, cultural and aesthetic achievements. See here for more information. Also see more of the project here.
SHOE SHELF SHOP OPENED!
NEW CONTEMPORARY EXTENSION
We are very proud to announce the completion of our 340m2 shoe shop in Neumünster, Germany! With our new building, this long-established shoe store in the city center of Neumünster gets a contemporary extension. Towards the adjacent square, the building presents its striking profile that is designed as a full-height shelf which both outward and inward functions acts as a large display. The facade combines functionality and design while creating a remarkable completion of the urban fabric visible all the way to the nearby Textile Museum. Towards the street the new building rises up two stories with minimalist design putting the existing building in the foreground. The new building is constructed as an in-site concrete structure with exposed concrete. The
AMAGER COMMONS QUARTER
A blue-green delta landscape, like rivers flowing between characterful housing islands, and a loop for social activity, are the main elements of a proposal for a master plan for Amager Fælled Kvarter (Amager Commons Quarter) putting everyday life, nature and social fellowships at the centre. It sets the stage for the Commons’ unique nature as a shared recreational resource and the social grouting interconnecting the urban quarter’s sustainable city life. Community, activity and urban life in the middle of nature. URBAN AGENCY’s proposal for a new master plan for Amager Fælled Kvarter will preserve the special nature resources and recreational function of the area. The Metro just around the corner will be the basis for a new urban space where
NEW HEADQUARTER FOR VOLKSBANK
URBAN AGENCY, in collaboration with BEM Architects, has been invited to design the 25,000m2 headquarter of Volksbank, one of the biggest banking groups in Germany. Located in the center of Freiburg, opposite to the central station, the project will become a new entrance-gate to the medieval city center of Freiburg. The project comprises of a forty-three-meter high bank tower also featuring a hotel, retail and office functions, as well as a new assembly hall and music classrooms for the adjacent secondary school. With restricted guidelines provided by the city the shape of our proposal, displaying simple breaks in scale, enriches the skyline and relates better to the surroundings. The first two floors, where the client services are located, open themselves
URBAN AGENCY has been commissioned to design public spaces and eighty-four new mixed-use buildings for the city of Midan in South Korea. The new development both accommodates local residents and tourists of Incheon Airport and provides new entertainment facilities for Midan City Yeongiong Island. One of the most challenging aspects of this project was to create a village that encapsulates dynamic design and a unique spatial identity whilst maintaining each building’s distinct individuality, despite the primarily commercial masterplan we were presented with. In pursuance of this, we will disperse a multitude of architectural and urbanistic interventions throughout the site, such as pavement design, an open terrace towards the park, an urban square and an abundance of street art. The building
EDUCATION CENTRE FOR ALL
The project for a 10,000m2 adult education centre, located in the south-west of Morocco in a harsh and isolated area, aspires to create a robust, world-class education facility that will give generously to its community. Site strategy: Less is more Although the given site is quite large, the building occupies half of it in order to create a compact and introverted building, with a humble and simple exterior leading into a rich dynamic internal courtyard – drawing reference to the traditional “Medersa”( first universities) for its social, cultural and climatic ingenuity. Occupying a portion of the site allows for further development, creating the opportunity for expansion in the future. Meanwhile, the freed space will be used as a generous public
NEW HARBOR BRIDGE
Copenhagen's new pedestrian and cycle bridge
URBAN AGENCY, WilkinsonEyre and BuroHappold Engineering have been selected from a shortlist of five competing multidisciplinary teams, to design an opening pedestrian and cycle bridge across Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour. The plan form of the bridge is an elegant sweeping curve that reconnects the two misaligned axes of Vester Voldgade and Langebrogade. Peter Cederfeld, CEO of Realdania Byg said: “The winning proposal combines a clear and compelling concept with a strong design team to provide Copenhagen with a new high-quality bridge that both the city and its residents can be proud of.” The bridge has been designed as a simple response to the site constraints; from the eastern quayside, the deck rises up gently to clear the 5.4m high shipping channel,
Slagelse, a city strategically located at the point between Copenhagen and rest of Denmark, continues to undergo major transformations: Initially residing with the typical medieval city’s urban and street structure, then evolving through increased industrialisation supported by the railway development and further advancing with the establishment of shopping center in the 1970’s – each of these periods left a stamp in the city’s structure. The old town, train station and shopping mall are all located within a one-kilometre radius and can all be interpreted as an anchor in the town, each acting as main focal points of the city. Unfortunately, the area inbetween does not provide them with proper connections so they do not support each other and are forced
CASTLE & DRURY
With all protected buildings careful consideration has to be applied; we wanted to retain the existing beautiful features of the interior whilst creating a smaller, more exclusive and intimate shop area. The new menswear shop, for a young and passionate independent trader, required a much smaller space than the given premises in order to minimize cost. We segmented the space by means similar to a Georgian room-divider, traditionally used to get changed behind, comprised of a two metre, sand and cement rendered partition with custom-made mounted clothes rails that undulate at different levels to facilitate and showcase an array of clothing. As well as this reflective chrome/ mirror aluminum that runs along the bottom allows light to bounce further bounce
SCHOOL IN LURUP
NEW HEART OF THE DISTRICT
TThe aim of the competition for a school for 900 pupils in Lurup, one of Hamburg’s districts, was designing a stimulating and comfortable education venue for students, faculty and the surrounding community alike. Given the vast cultural programme proposed such as a community center, library, small theater, auditorium and sports hall, the project is set to become the focal point of the entire district, despite it’s central but hidden location in the “second row” – striving to create a neighbourhood magnet luring residents all day long. The school will have two entrances; the first in direct contact with the existing building and the second leading to the only road from which the building can be directly visible in the urban
MODEL MAKING PROCESS
Enjoy watching our conceptual 1:50 concrete model come to life! This short film shows the process of creating the model, while the model tells the story behind the architecture. After many endeavours on the way, the 150kg heavy design arrived safely in Venice alongside our two other “Human Architectures” and will on display in the Danish Pavilion until the 27th of November. Learn more about Venice Biennale here
SHARING MODELS: MANHATTANISMS
URBAN AGENCY ENVISIONS NEW YORK'S FUTURE
Urban Agency is delighted to take part, alongside 30 other international Architects, in the very thought proactive exhibition ‘Sharing Models: Manhattanisms’. Exploring how new-age technologies and ever-changing social typology may “affect the way we inhabit and build the cities of tomorrow”; each Architect was given an area of Manhattan with the task of envisaging the city’s future. The Models are on display till the 2nd of September at Storefront’s Gallery; showcasing a “composite figure; a territory that is simultaneously fictional and real, and one that opens a window to new perceptions of the city’s shared assets.” We were assigned a section of the Financial District of Manhattan in the to rethink, reinterpret and reimagine for the future. A recent study
NEW HARBOUR BATH
With the opening of the Harbour Bath, the inner-city waterfront of Faaborg has finally opened for bathing and recreation / public activity. This new public space on the water adds a new dimension of recreational activity to the beautiful South Funen Archipelago. The Harbour Bath is designed to tie a closer link between the city and the sea. Three thematic piers give room for everyone: Toddlers, children and young people can go wild while others enjoy the view of Faaborg Fjord. The “finger plan” with open basins between the three piers, offers multiple ways to approach the water. The wooden piers form ramps, stairs, sitting opportunities and small pools for children. The new development invites to take a bath,
1:1 SCALE MOCK-UP
ON THE SITE
We are absolutely delighted with the arrival of our 1:1 Scale quality-testing mock-up Model of the New Cycle and Pedestrian Bridge at Copenhagen’s Inner Harbour. The Model itself is on site, providing us with a glimpse of the elegant bridge that will further connect the city. With BLOX Building, aka the new Danish Architecture Center, well and truly under way as you can see across the canal, we’re starting to see the shape of the harbour’s new skyline and surroundings emerge – an exciting few months lie ahead! See more of the project here.
VENICE BIENNALE 2016
URBAN AGENCY TAKES PART AS ONE OF THE DANISH CONTRIBUTION WITH 3 PROJECTS FEATURED
The highly anticipated 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice is a massive success. We are proud and honoured to be a part of the Danish Selection with 3 of our projects featured. For more information check out here.
URBAN AGENCY AMONGST 25 SHORTLISTED
FOR THE EUROPEAN PRIZE for URBAN PUBLIC SPACE 2016
URBAN AGENCY’S Public Baths in the Harbor Fåborg-Midtfyn, Denmark has been named as one of 25 Finalists for the European Prize for Urban Public Space 2016. We are excited and honoured to have made the selection, it also comes as great news as our Faborg Project is one of our three projects being featured as part of the Danish selection in the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice. See here for more information.
36 METERS TALL SCULPTURE IN FREIBURG
The former post area, located between the city’s main artery on one side and ICE trains on the other, sets a very special context for our new project. The dynamics of the place reflects in its design and turns the office building into a thirty-six metre tall sculpture. Strong gestures in the volume give the building an architecturally and structurally significant appearance; making it the dominant landmark of the new business district. While the slopes on the upper floors optimise the sun in the central square throughout the day, the slanted corners on the lower floors provide better linking of public space. The special building form creates a welcoming condition of the overall urban concept between boulevard and the area
URBAN AGENCY COMPLETES DENTAL PRACTICE FIT-OUT IN DUBLIN
Our fundamental aim was to rethink the typical, clinical corridor typology of dental practices to redefine how patients view a visit to the dentist – from a daunting experience to a pleasant one. We started with a layout based on a “poché” plan with an enfilade of bright rooms make for a soothing atmosphere. Introducing curved walls made out of natural materials soften the space and large windows that look out onto small courtyards with lush gardens provide an abundance of natural light whilst maintaining privacy and provide delightful views to distract the patients during their procedures!
THE VERTICAL VILLAGE
The love for the suburban house in Ireland is well known. However, it is an unsustainable model for the future of a city like Dublin which should encourage a more pedestrian and cycling mobility rather than car commuting culture. The design concept wants to bring into the project the qualities one finds in the typical Irish “terraced houses” such as the two storey spatial qualities, the greenery environment, and the outdoor space, as well as sense of community. We propose a series of vertically stacked terraced houses with generous, lush outdoor spaces, communal facilities, concierge services, café, gym, etc.; a real vertical village. The project, commissioned by the US developer Hines for 165 apartments scheme on Spencer Dock, is an
GET THE HANG OF OUR URBAN MOTION!
Arriving in Copenhagen, you are now able to stretch your body after a long flight at our ‘Urban Motion’. Copenhagen airport invited Urban Agency to repeat the succsess of the Kalvebod Wave in the arrival hall.
HYDE & SEEK
The awkward shape of the site, the adjacent traffic noise and the need for minimising windows at ground-floor level to prevent overlooking result from the site strategy. The building is placed at the centre of the site to create three gardens of various scale at its corners, serving as individualised amenities for the respective age group. The creche is introverted at ground-floor level, opening into private landscaped courtyards; at first-floor level, windows are created to allow for distant views. The building is organised as a series of four small oval volumes that accommodate the various age groups, the administration and ancillaries. A large circular roof caps and unifies the building overall, serving as a vast external playground at first-floor level
152 MICRO APARTMENTS IN SEOUL
URBAN AGENCY has been commissioned to design 152 units of Officetel building with a hybrid programme between an office and a hotel as a self-contained living environment in the new development area of the Negok District, Seoul together with Soomok Architects and Imma Architects. The site at number 2-2 Negok District has both positive and negative aspects – the design concept embodies and tackles said upsides and challenges. The open view towards Mt Chunggae is utilised while the unsightly Kyungbu highway and the very closely located neighbouring building is resolved – an innovative urbanistic solution to a complex condition. We proposed a counter shape as a response to the neighbouring U-shape building; its counter U-shape not only creates a larger
URBAN AGENCY PARTICIPATE IN 15TH ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE IN VENICE
URBAN AGENCY will be part of the official Danish contribution to the 15th Architecture Biennale in Venice. Chilean Architects Alejandro Aravena is head curator of the Venice Biennale in 2016. Under the heading ‘Reporting from the Front’ Aravena examines the architect’s role in the struggle to strengthen the quality of human life worldwide…. http://www.labiennale.org/en/news/18-07.html
Shenzhen Hongkong Bi-City Biennale
URBAN AGENCY is currently taking part in Irish Design 2015’s ‘New Horizon_architecture from Ireland’ – a series of presentations showcasing the work of emerging Irish practices. The installations kicked off on the 4th of December at the Dacheng Flour Factory, Shekou and will run until the 4th of March 2016, presenting photography and short films which highlight the fascinating relationship between Shannon, Ireland and Shenzhen, China. The exhibition explores, promotes and celebrates Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally portrayed by talented filmmaker, Matt Thompson alongside work from fellow architects practice, AP&E.
Copenhagen's new harbor-front
With the opening of the Kalvebod Waves at Copenhagen’s harbour-front, a central part of the inner harbour has finally become both accessible and attractive to the public. The new public space on the water gives the harbour a new dimension as a recreational space in the centre of the city. Historically this part of the harbour was devoted to industrial activities. In the 1980s and 90s, the city sold the land, and the area was developed into an urbanistically and architecturally harsh and monoprogrammed harbour-front, leaving its quay barren and open to strong winds, devoid of any public life. When addressing this infamously gloomy and desolated side of the harbour, the architects focused on two major design aspects: urban continuity
WHEN THE BRIDGE OPENS,
100 times a year
You can watch the short video showing the opening mechanical procedure of our new pedestrian and cycle bridge in Copenhagen. The bridge will open approximately 100 times a year. The project is going very well and it is in the early tender phase. The construction will completed in 2018. The model is made by WilkinsonEyre. See more here
Urban Agency in London
We are pleased to be featured in Nine Lives at the Tank, currently installed at Design Museum , London and residing there until June 28th. Nine Lives shows work of 10 architects from Ireland selected by Raymund Ryan and Nathalie Weadick as part of the ‘New Horizon_architecture from Ireland’ initiative which will see all 10 architects participate in some way in three architecture festivals across the world in 2015 – the first of these seeing TAKA, Steve Larkin, Clancy Moore, Hall McKnight and Emmett Scanlon show work at the London Festival of Architecture until the end of June. Supported by Irish Design 2015. Nine Lives will also be shown in Ireland as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival opening August 8th and will run at the
Qianhai Exchange Plaza
Urban Agency in Shenzhen
Enjoy watching the video showing our Proposal for Qianhai Exchange Plaza as a center piece of a new urban quarter in Shenzhen. See more of the project here.
Qianhai Exchange Plaza - More than trade!
Qianhai Exchange Plaza will be a place for economic exchange. But it has the potential for much more. It can become the place for exchange on many different levels – a place of a holistic identity of what exchange means in the 21st century. Social Exchange: Economic exchange is based on people interacting. This needs places where people can meet in a formal or informal way – places where social exchange in the context of business and outside it can take place. Cultural exchange: Qianhai and the exchange plaza are the heart of a new place that is supposed to foster exchange between Shenzhen and Hong Kong and between China and the world. Where people from everywhere meet it would
Our project Kalvebod Waves wins World Architecture News Awards for best Urban Design!!. See more here
MAKEOVER FOR ICONS
The ESB’s recent controversial proposal to demolish the redundant but iconic Poolbeg Lighthouses provoked much opposition from Dublin citizens, including Dublin City Councillor and historian Dermot Lacey. URBAN AGENCY’s proposal aims to celebrate the unique identity and character of the Poolbeg Chimneys by giving them a new life and converting them into a new city destination: The Twin Observation Towers. The proposal includes glass bubble-like structures, one on 180-metre-high observation deck in one chimney and in the other, a 160-metre-high restaurant and venue for fundraising events, product launches, meetings, press conferences, receptions, and corporate parties. At the foot of the towers, a publicly accessible building comprising of an energy museum/education centre, a shop, a cafe and toilet facilities is proposed.
URBAN AGENCY’s first house in Lyon, France, is under construction. The site is located in a small wood planted with mature pine trees. The concept is an ultra-efficient cross plan that minimizes circulation and dead spaces while maximizing the natural light and views to the surrounding landscape.
This design for a mews house for a mid-terrace site at the rear of Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin offered the challenge of how to cater for contemporary living within the historical urban fabric. Avoiding pastiche, the aim was to reinvent the banal box typology of some mews schemes in the city, opting for four interlocking, offset vaults to create a dynamic series of outdoor and indoor spaces flooded with natural light. The vaults – inspired by the dominant stone arch on the lane – allow for an enfilade of grand rooms surrounded by a series of gardens and patios, despite the house being only 130m². The movement through the house has been imagined as a journey, with a series of
Together with BEM Architects, URBAN AGENCY has designed the urban scheme for the new development of 13,000 m2 of housing in Freiburg, Germany. The project, consisting of four housing blocks, will provide a working/living area based on the German concept of ‘Common Living’. The next step is to find future residents and investors.
New Tent Structure
The Fringe Festival tent is a structure which is at the same time a spectacle. The brief is simple: A tent structure which can be erected in 24 hours, stand for one month for the duration of the festival and then be disassembled and stored until the following year. The project is five small domes all interconnected in a complex series of curves like the belly of a whale. A LED skin powered by embedded photovoltaic cells brings the pavilion alive during festival time. The containers that the pavilion is stored in become ticket booths, wardrobes, bars and VIP areas spread throughout the docks during the festival.
10 Apartments & retail
The project consists of ten luxury apartments and a restaurant on the ground floor opening onto a semi-public lush garden. In 2013, URBAN AGENCY was commissioned to reassess an existing proposal and managed to gain an extra 40% of floor space by sliding and twisting each storey in order to comply with and “twist“ French planning law.
New social housing
The ten town villas are placed as a chain in the hilly landscape and relate both to the 5-6 storey houses of the new development and the small-scale houses of the village itself. The town villa typology has a small volume compared to the traditional social housing slab, combining the qualities of the one-family house with the density of the multi-storey housing typology. The access system and the common outside terrace area melt together as wide wooden bridges, including entrance zones for the units and terrace spaces. This creates housing with a strong community and a high level of safety. The buildings are planned according to the principles of the German DGNB certification system.
A short film on URBAN AGENCY’s project, Kalvebod Waves. See more of the project here.
Orla Kiely’s flagship store in New York is a 215m2 boutique situated on the ground floor of a 19th-century manufacturing building in the landmark area of Soho. The 7.5m x 28m long space is divided lengthways into two parts; an open plan area that can be used for catwalk shows or exhibitions, and a series of domestic-scale rooms that house Kiely’s signature collection of bags, homewares, stationery, beauty products and wallpaper designs. The spaces are arranged as a 1:1 cross-section of a doll’s house, acting like a stage set for customers to play out their ambitions of creating an ideal home, complete with original Orla Kiely designs. The modern, interchangeable interior street space allows for theatrical events and unusual displays,
A BIGGER SPLASH
AIT Prize 2014
URBAN AGENCY’s Kalvebod Wave project has been named winner of the AIT Award 2014. More than 500 projects from 31 countries competed in eight different categories (living, hotel/gastronomy, retail/trade fair, office/administration, health/care, sports/leisure, public buildings/education, industry/commerce) to win the prestigious prize. An international jury of 12 highly-esteemed experts selected the Kalvebod Wave project as the winner in the sports/leisure category. See pictures of the prize winning ceremony here. Also see more of the project here.
Wood Experience Center
Jeju Island is the most natural tourist attraction in South Korea. The centre is situated in the most untouched forest area in Jeju called ‘Redorum.’ One of the main challenges was to design a building that respects the existing forest as well being iconic in its own right as a tourist attraction. The roof covers the whole space of the building, which accommodates an exhibition hall, workshop and library.
School of music
The major challenge of our design proposal is to enhance the area around the train station as a new gate to the city of Kronberg, Germany. The new ensemble of chamber music hall, Kronberg Academy and Hotel has been carefully designed to blend in with the station’s forecourt. The unique design of the chamber music hall has evolved from the unique characteristics of the landscape, the idea of ”flow” is to allow the landscape by means of a set-through foyer through the building. The building itself receives its special sculptural form through the curved design of the building’s envelope. Curved wall cutouts allow large-scale, column-free openings, theses characteristics shape the halls and also the exterior facades form.
URBAN AGENCY, together with Henchion+Reuter, Transsolar, Hosper, Haley Sharpe and Planning Partnership, were chosen to design a new masterplan and an interpretive centre for a UNESCO designated site in the heart of Dublin bay. See more of the project here.
Distributed over two buildings, Ørestad Assisted Housing Project comprises a total of 110 units for disabled people and psychiatric patients. As it was important that the development naturally integrated itself into the future urban fabric and the public space, all the common facilities on the ground floor, e.g. café and rehabilitation center, are gathered in order to achieve an open and inviting access with a close link to the public space. The facade of the building is designed in a modular system with a distinctive checkerboard layout. The shifting half-module size windows and the set-back balconies create a distinctive depth and a unique and lively character that puts the buildings in dialogue with the urban space. The building’s design invites
44 Social Housing units
The proposal challenges the generic standard ‘housing block’ layout by creating a more human-scale but high-density housing while encouraging and developing a great sense of community living. The site is located in Narbonne in the South of France in a low-rise residential neighbourhood dominated by large two-storey private houses with red terracotta pitch roofs. The challenge was to insert a high-density residential development to fit in the existing low-density context. The project minimizes the scale and the massing of the development by breaking it down into six small, interconnected volumes of varying heights. The facades are tilted above the second storey and are finished with a red terracotta concrete finish so the overall building reads visually as a cluster of
The design for the Yuseong youth centre envisaged the building not just as an entity but as a composition of different identities. This vision involved devising seven programmatic volumes and lending them all a different architectural language to distinguish and characterise each function. We carefully recomposed the volumes to enhance their spatial and visual inter-relationships. We believe this process creates not only the appropriate context for youth to develop their individual interests but also to allow them communicate among different groups. The site is complex, having a green field and lake on the south-east side and a 50m road on north-west side. We started with an L-shaped layout to create a cozy and active urban backyard embraced both by our
URBAN AGENCY, together with Artist Gregory Dunn, completed the Playstation project for “The Everyday Experience” – the Irish Architectural Foundation’s exhibition at The Irish Museum of Modern Art. See more of Greg Dunn’s Playstation video here. See more of IAF “Everyday experience“ here.
Get a feel for URBAN AGENCY’S shop interior design for Orla Keily in New York. See more of the project here.
Future of Copenhagen
In 2008 URBAN AGENCY, together with Vandkunsten Architects, won a two-stage urban planning competition for the development of the “Kløvermarken” quarter in Copenhagen. The project comprised the development of a new urban district with about 900,000 m2 of floor-area for housing, public and commercial use. Organised around the existing football fields, the project was designed with a focus on public health and sustainable living. URBAN AGENCY has worked on the project from inception to development plan and has been responsible for the development of a design manual for landscape architecture and public space.
TV Studio on DR2
Urban Agency was commissioned to design the TV studio for a new TV show called Vogternes Råd on Danish national TV channel. In the weekly show, four panels including MC, Ane Cortzen, and hosts deal with polemic issues about Danish media with a critical and humorous point of view. We got inspired by a Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s work, ‘Gleaming lights of the souls’ and introduced it to our TV studio design. Our design seeks to create an infinite spatial sense in TV studio’s limited space by reflection with 35 mirror walls and LED lights. The studio surrounded by mirror walls contains innumerable reflections of colorful LED lights so it implies the infinite media production process between reality and fiction.
The building, an artist’s studio, consists of a 5x5m singular room set back from the lane and mediated between two new outdoor rooms – a patio and a garden. The finished floor level is sunk 750mm below ground level. The modest-height ceiling at the entrance level increases gradually when descending to the centre of the room. A folding polished concrete ribbon runs around the room, up and down, becoming stairs, desks and a day bed before returning to its normal position. Internally, board-marked concrete walls and roof form a textured cube underscored by two long strip roof lights marking the daily passage of light on walls. Externally, a smooth, sandblasted concrete finish contrasts with the internal textural opulence. The space
The project in Kantplatz 8 in Neumünster, Germany, called for the renewal and restoration of a former church and church community house with a special focus on energy optimisation. The building is a defining part of the central square of the 1950s housing area. The project strikes a balance between building preservation, modernisation and energy optimisation: the facade towards the square had to be preserved, with the garden side opened up into a modern facade. Bay windows and balconies were established to create variety and the increase the potential for social engagement in the neighbourhood. The apartments were organised and scaled to accommodate the needs of groups of different ages. The interior and exterior common areas were given special attention
An existing shopping centre with a deep plan is converted into bright, usable office space. The proposal involved cutting a long narrow strip through the three-storey shopping centre, creating an atrium to draw sunlight down into the core of the plan. Stainless steel cladding reflects and intensifies the light, bouncing sunlight deep into the building. The central division forms two 12-14m deep spaces either side of the atrium which the offices can inhabit. As well as natural light, the atrium ventilates the building, preventing overheating. Meeting rooms form bridges between the two strips of office space, providing distinctive focal points within the building and referencing their communal function. The scale of the existing building had to be recalibrated for its
House reconfiguration & extension
A house that doubles as gallery gave rise to a series of flexible spaces that can be transformed by the occupant. An unroofed porch creates a chicane that provides both threshold and privacy. On entering, the living space is presented as a single volume stretching out to the garden beyond. This longitudinal space is served by an inhabited wall that opens up to reveal the kitchen, stairwell, fireplace and settee. All the essentials of daily living are thus housed behind a folding white wall. One of these openings conceals a hidden dimension – a light-strewn stairwell leading to the bedrooms above. The upper-level arrival hall is a place to linger, being glazed to the sky and lined in birch –
Brick a Back House
House renovation & extension
Located on a redbrick wall terrace in Irishtown, Dublin, one finds the wall folded right back into the interior to open a space for living space and a patio beyond. A single volume extends visually from the front door to the rear wall of the site where a variety of spatial conditions are overlaid, all differentiated by the degree of enclosure and the use of two contrasting materials: red brick and white marble. Three metres – two internal and one external – are added to the length of the existing house. Each metre is open, closed or glazed. This tripartite division of ‘air, earth and sun’ establishes an elemental structure that spans the width of the house. A blurring of
34 apartments retrofit & new extension
An existing dormer building is restructured as a permeable light box. Removing the old dormer windows, a three-and-a-half storey block is locked onto the top of the refurbished building. The new block provides a series of duplex and triplex units in the form of vertical houses. The block is carved out to form terraces, gardens and winter gardens, a multifaceted version of the traditional Irish back garden which divided and distributed to provide a range of uses and experiences. Conceptually comfortable houses are placed in a city centre location with three or four sided views over the city and green pockets acting as breathing space. Continuing the sense of rural life in an urban setting, allotments are available to residents.
House renovation & extension
A house is excavated and a space created. The insertion of a polycarbonate and steel cruciform object allows habitation, setting up a complex series of interconnected and overlapping spaces. The object, a piece of architectural furniture, spreads treelike from a concentrated base housing a kitchen, toilet, storage and stairwell. Above this is a platform for sleeping, dressing and study spaces. The four branches of the structure hold various functions – two spanning to the side walls act as wardrobes, while the branch to the front is a cantilevered reading desk for the teacher-client. The fourth branch extends through the rear wall and projects two metres beyond it housing a shower room. This room is glazed to the sky, reminiscent of