Nørreport Station in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the busiest station in the country with roughly 250,000 people bustling through it daily. Since the 1960s, the station has developed into a vast and chaotic intersection in the middle of the city. The idea behind the new station was to give Nørreport back to the people by reorganizing the flow and the infrastructural hierarchy of the space. Imagine how people would naturally move if they were released from the constraints of cars, bicycle stands and traffic lights. This study became the basis for the new station which is composed of a series of rounded, floating roofs, mounted on striking glass pavillons. The design provides an open and efficient public space designed specifically for the needs of the people using it. Ample bike parking is a main feature in the station design accommodating 2,500 parking lots for bikes. Transparency and clarity is created by placing the bicycles in well-defined areas slightly lowered into the ground, as sunken ‘bicycle beds’In this way the bicycles have their designated space as an integrated part of the streetscape, but are less visually obstructive. The new Nørreport Station is a different kind of station – a completely open space consisting of variations of organic suspended roofs and pathways that fluently integrate with the city around it. It is a space of constant flow that one gradually becomes part of as one moves with the stream of people to and from the many bus stops and underground metro and train lines. In this way the new station is not only a station, but also an urban landscape for people. It transforms Copenhagen’s busiest traffic hub into a single unified flow and becomes an integrated part of the pulsating city around it.
Team: Architects: COBE and Gottlieb Paludan Architects Engineers: Sweco Lightning consultant: Bartenbach Lichtlabor Contractors: Aarsleff Rail
Nørreport, the busiest station in Denmark, has undergone a highly successful conversion. The old, dark nooks and crannies have disappeared, making way for open, inviting buildings in a streamlined public space.
“The assignment turned out to be about making a new urban space, rather than about designing a new station building. The hardest part in redesigning New Nørreport Station was to create this urban space, where people can be at ease and feel at one with their environment, while at the same time getting the whole infrastructure to work” - Jan Loerakker, architect at Gottlieb Paludan Architects.
As a basis for designing the new Nørreport, an analysis was conducted of the movements of pedestrians across the square. With the use of this movement analysis, the architects could see where the busiest stretches were, and which areas were devoid of significant traffic. That meant that the architects could position walking areas where pedestrians already walked, while positioning buildings and bicycle parking facilities in areas, where they would not obstruct the multitudes of people, who pass through Nørreport on a daily basis.