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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
In Spring 2010, URBAN AGENCY was appointed the winner of the competition for new housing at the Sommerlyst site in Holmbladsgade, Copenhagen. The project will now be realised 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
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,
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.
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
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