Arne Jacobsen Bellavista
Strandvejen 419-451, Northern Suburbs
Architect Arne Jacobsen is credited as being the founding father of modern Danish functionalist design. Jacobsen was prolific, producing over one hundred buildings throughout his career. The seaside town of Klampenbord is home to a whole complex of Jacobsen-designed buildings and structures, including a theater, housing complex, and beach cabanas. The architect won the commission for the site in the '30s and added more structures in the '50s, all in the international modernist style—white-washed walls, split-level apartments–to ensure sea views for all occupants.
Arne Jacobsen Gas Station
Kystvejen 24, Northern Suburbs
Texaco commissioned Jacobsen to create a new standard gas station model, which the architect completed in 1938. The new model was never implemented but the structure still functions as a gas station today (the modern gas pumps were added later). The station is essentially a concrete box clad in white ceramic tiles—the distinctive feature is the oval-shaped canopy above the pumps (affectionately called "the mushroom" by locals). While the canopy looks a little obsolete, Jacobsen's philosophy that every design element needs to have a function is definitely at play. The canopy acts as a shield from the rain by day and as a streetlight (the canopy is bottom-lit so the light diffuses to illuminate the whole station) by night—functional, beautiful, smart.
Kapelvej 4, Nørrebro
Arguably one of the most atmospheric cemeteries in the world, Assistens Kirkegarde is an oasis of calm in the middle of the city. Despite its primary function, the cemetery is not a somber place, locals use it almost like a park to exercise, relax, and read in. It's filled with trees making it a beautiful place to take in the fall colors as you walk around and study the tombstones of the notable Danes buried there (including every child's favorite fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen).
Taxvej 14, Bagsværd
This is one of the most unusually designed churches you'll ever come across. Completed by Jørn Utzon (also the architect of the Sydney Opera House) in 1976, the white concrete exterior looks like a non-event, while all the visual drama is contained inside. Once through the doors, the effect is reminiscent of being in a cave—illuminated by hidden glass panels in the roof, the light bounces off the undulating white, pre-cast concrete walls, and white tile floor. In keeping with the soft palette, the pews and organ are done in bleached wood with no ornate details. Overall, the effect is incredibly soothing, the birch tree-covered landscape outside doesn't hurt either.
Aldersrogade 6c, Osterbro
Founded in 1992 by Ole Høstbo, this gallery specializes in super rare, original pieces of Danish furniture created between 1920-1970. The mid-century period was dominated by the belief that utilitarian equipment (like furniture) could be beautiful as well as functional, and enhance the daily living experience in the home. Here, you'll see a mix of antique Danish modern and industrial design pieces on show. Høstbo's exhibit also makes its way through the world's major art and design fairs, bringing this significant period of Danish design to a wider audience. By appointment only.
Ørestads Blvd. 13, Amager
With a price tag of 300 million dollars, the new home of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra is also (so far) the second most expensively built concert hall in the world. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the structure looks like a weirdly translucent blue cube. This is completely intentional: at night concert scenes are projected onto the cube's surfaces to share the experience of what happens inside with the community outside. While the exterior looks pretty industrial, the concert hall itself (which sits 1,800 people) is visually stunning—the yellow cedar-wood used throughout the space is warm and inviting, with handcrafted seats and an incredible 6,000-pipe organ.
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