24 August 2011

A coming attraction

Last spring I rode by a cluster of neon signs, hovering in the middle of nowhere, way out on Nørrebro. They were fenced in, and there were no clues to what they were about. Every couple of months I would pass them, and see something more going on, like the crazy cool bike racks lining up. Eventually I learned that this is part of the monster urban lift Superkilen, and as I was reading up on it, I was shell shocked. It is like nothing anyone has ever seen before, mixing cultures and colors in a freak show of epic proportions. Yesterday I trespassed and sneaked as many pictures of the progress as I could. They are approaching the final stages of the red square (wait until you see the pictures) with the expected opening in September. 

The weird thing is that I was halfway lining up to hate it. But now that I have had some time to think about it, and seen the effort to make it happen, I am warming up fast. I find that I like living in a city that makes room for red floors and rainbow colored bicycle racks.

Rainbow parking

Rainbow bicycle racks

Cranberry bike rack

Superkilen floor

Superkilen almost ready

Bicycle highway / the red square

A bicycle highway runs through it, of course, like a main artery.
Epoxy floor

Here's the floor half done, I bow to the craftsmanship involved in making this sandwich of a floor: first layer is asphalt, second layer epoxy (the Danish summer rain reaking havoc with the poor German specialists, poking a million holes in the drying floor, calling for a do-over and more sanding), then a layer of sand and the final coat of colored polyurethane.

Oh, and there is a giant Japanese octopus waiting for its close up further down the stretch.. I'm on it!

Superkilen (in Danish only)
Topotek1 (in German and English)


  1. I live just around the corner and I've been eagerly expecting for this to open, I was hoping for the summer but it seems it got a bit delayed... I've fallen in love with the project since I saw it and read about it, this is art in so many ways! So I am happy that you are also starting to like it - I really love your blog since I started to follow it, and you've opened up my eyes to all the small things in CPH that make us smile :)

  2. Hmm I´d wondered about the reason for (and the cost) of that mad giant donutesque American street sign on Tagensvej. Thanks to you, I now know.

  3. Hi Juicebox, that really makes me so happy to hear, thank you :-) I know they had trouble making the epoxy layer of the floor because of the rain, this summer has not been the perfect weather for this elaborate project. Ah, I can't wait to see it finished, and follow the other parts (they are doing the green part next year).

  4. Ha, Bert, so I was not alone wondering what this neon bonanza was about? I'm glad to be the one to tell you :D

  5. Jeg bor også lige ved siden af og har allerede kun kærlighed for området. Jeg elsker regnbue-stativerne og at der lige pludselig er en farve-oase midt på Nørrebro.

  6. Hej Sam, det bliver jo helt vildt. Jeg er ret spændt på hvordan det bliver modtaget, om det bliver hærget til ukendelighed, det er knald eller fald. Glæder mig til at det står færdigt (med grønt og sort område også, mum).

  7. Unfortunately...

    "We predicted opening in August, but due to the heavy amounts of rain, we have decided to postpone the opening until spring 2012", says Laura Koch Rotne, projectmanager for Superkilen.


  8. Hi Henrik,

    Thank you for the update. I was really looking forward to seeing it done, but they have been up against impossibile weather conditions. Spring it is then.

  9. Hello
    Thank you for you commenton the technic used here for the ground design.
    We are a team of architects and are very interesting on it.
    Would you have other informations about it? Or, maybe you know the name of the firm which worked on.
    Thank you!

    1. Yes, the link is in the post, Topotek1 from Germany.


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