30 June 2014

The Flying Carpet

Friday was the official opening day of the new Israels Plads, the big square next to Torvehallerne, our not-so farmers market. This whole area is a sore space to me. First, they took all the old chestnut trees by Torvehallerne (prompting me to start Red Byens Træer, the tree hugging initiative, so thanks, I guess). Next the city chopped down 80+ trees and bushes to build the new Israels Square. A couple of days before the opening, I snug into a building, and caught the square from the fourth floor. 


The 80+ trees have been replaced by what looks like.. 13? The concrete job is smooth and beautifully finished, inviting in kids on all kinds of wheels. But as you can imagine the noise level is insufferable. The sounds bounces freely between the buildings, like it does on Superkilen. Do I have to say it? Trees. They forgot to factor in trees. 


On the left side outside the frame Ørstedsparken, on the right side the "farmers market" Torvehallerne.


With the entire square raised 30 cm from the ground, they have named it the Flying Carpet (Det Flyvende Tæppe). Underneath it all is a large underground parking lot. If only we had those for bikes.


Zooming in on Torvehallerne. See that white cloth covering the windows? Yeah, they had to do that, to keep the place from overheating. You know, stuff the butchered chestnut trees would have taken care of. Duh. Back on the ground, after opening day:



Props for remembering the trash cans, but it looks like they forgot bike parking on the square (so far only lining the street). Already kids are just throwing them on the ground. Also, this square is adjacent to a handful of schools, Torvehallerne (with close to zero bike parking facilities on the south side), and the busiest train station in Copenhagen, Nørreport (with the green roofs). But since they are not entirely done, it could still be added with the final touches. 


View from the stairs at the far end. 


Behind it all Ørstedsparken, the wildest park in Copenhagen. They tried to take more of it, but the Danish Society for Nature Conservation fought for the old trees, and as a compromise the architects found a way to work around them. A work still in progress, expected to be finished in August.


The stairs in the coveted evening sun. Wait, what? They placed the dominant set of stairs in the shadow, back turned to the sunset? No, they didn't? Again: same thing on Superkilen. Why is it that urban architetcs don't factor in where the sun sets? It is so important to us. Especially in the sun deprived North.

Bouncy floor detail from the fenced in court. Yummy little sprinkles. 


I wonder if the weekend flea markets will return? And the new trees survive? Considering the price we paid for this square in tranquility and trees, it better be a huge success. Fingers crossed.

The Flying Carpet on DAC (architectural details)


  1. AnonymousJuly 01, 2014

    Oh Sandra, not the chestnut trees!

    Recently, Parkdale, my neighbourhood in Toronto, was publicly and viciously slandered by a crazy, right-wing city councillor. Rather than fight fire with fire, our own councillor simply invited Parkdalians to go to his website (gordperks.ca) and say why we loved living in Parkdale. The first line of my rather lengthy missive was: "Because there are chestnut trees on my street."

    I'm halfway round the world, but I feel the loss of Copenhagen's trees. Keep doing your best to protect them.


    1. It is unbearable! We are losing so many, every week they take more. At the moment around 200 healthy trees lining the street, to widen (already wide) roads, for a bus lane. Not taking space from solo drivers, but rather cutting in on our precious nature. We had them rethink about 20 of them, which is better than nothing, but oh. Insane city planning. Not worthy of the title "European Green Capital 2014".

      I am doing my best, thank you Lin. : )

  2. AnonymousJuly 01, 2014

    En verden til forskel fra det oprindelige materiale. http://www.preprod.kk.dk/~/media/E448E2E603BE4FE2B4DED29F100CB4CD.ashx

    1. Som altid. Smart at lave natterenderinger, så slipper man for at snyde med lys og skygge. Og så er træerne lige spolet 50 år frem i vækst, også smart. Der er flere tegninger af pladsen her: http://m.dac.dk/da/dac-life/copenhagen-x-galleri/cases/israels-plads-syd/

      Overvejer at gå igennem byens store byggeprojekter og tage fotos fra de vinkler de var solgt i. Vise hvor stor forskellen er, i virkeligheden.

  3. Seriously, what is going on with all these super sterile spots? You never know what they are REALLY for and, given that it seems to be for skateboarding/basketball, the look is a bit off... Having said that, the sprinkles are kind of cool ;)
    I only take pictures with my phone... I kind of like the challenge. That and I can't afford a decent camera right about now ;)
    Hugs to you!

    1. That is exactly what it is: sterile. And the noise, oh. Not cosy at all. The flea markets probably won't be back on this spot because there is nothing separating the action from the street. No place to just be mellow and hang out.

      More and more recently designed public spaces repel me. The open spaces by Torvehallerne is nothing but a pink cava fest, for the creative- and upper middle class. Makes me vomit a little bit in my mouth. To me all that space is, is a graveyard, built on dead trees. Fuckers!

      There, I said it. Hugs back at you Celena. : D

  4. Hej Sandra

    Tænkte på om du har set dette? http://www.kk.dk/da/om-kommunen/nyhedsliste/2014/3-kvartal/buf-skolegaard-paa-amager-bliver-til-en-skov?element=borger_nyheder

    Synes umiddelbart det lyder dejligt, men undrer mig også over hvor alle de store træer skal komme fra.

    - Anne

    1. Hej Anne,

      Ja, det lyder dejligt, men jeg har det som dig. Giv det 50-80 år, og håb på det bedste. Det var ellers et bud, der ville have klædt Israels Plads. Så kunne man sidde midt i byen, og hygge sig med en klapsammen, mens børnene legede i frikvarteret. Nu har vi så fået et tæppe af beton. : /

      Tak for link. : )


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