The project is a transformation of Copenhagen's arrival and departure room including a restructuring of the existing programs and the establishment of a new public space that spans the old railroad trench.
Our modern network of connections allows our global world to appear more accessible, and the international market play its part in homogenizing the points that connect our world. The physical origin and the point in the network are important symbol carriers for the city and the country it is located within. I want to create a special and exceptional arrival - A Common Ground.
The railway line is a transition portal to the city – including the link between the global and the local. In Copenhagen the main train station hall has been filled with chain business playing games of profits and it has become difficult to get a good grip of the great hall. An arrival and departure hall leading nearly one hundred thousand passengers through the city and the country every day.
The project is a reaction to the capitalism's conditions to build and live in the city, which utilizes an unseen site in the big city to create a single unregulated space. A public area in the city's absolute midst which shall be able to accommodate myriads of tens of thousands of people, but also be able to be filled up by one individual, who stands, experiencing the possibilities all alone - just a free space.
My ambition is that the place shall become a space which collects and connects several room scenarios in a dynamic whole, which at one time is urban, tranquil, at once commonplace, solemn as well as a place that breaks borders by allowing something to emerge in the other.
The project appears in our world as a physical and mental break. A container for the city which over a given time period has different motivations, and focuses on contradictions between them; empty-filled; night-day, near-remote and the traveller versus the local.
The container consists of the main arrival hall and a public space that connects the arrivals hall with the city, which lies above and in the railroad ditch, connecting to its void permitting its constant currents. The container has been a working metaphor for the project and describes both the community and the absence it carries.
For the room to be able to exist on one of the most important and thus one of the most commercially valuable locations in the capital, between Central Station and Vesterport Station, work has been done with existing programs that now settles whit in the area. These programs must be allowed to continue their existence to enable the birth of the space – in order to create a rational space of freedom in the dense urban structure.
The void in the railroad trench revealed a possibility for development of a market structure under the square. The section got its concave shape for two reasons, – to accommodate the structure of the tomb and to give the space its distinctive, landscape room that meets the city on its special show. Its the constant dialogue between these two components that has helped to shape the project.
A Common Ground/Container
has been given the function of being emptied and refilled continuously by various phenomena and rhythms.
A Common Ground can be linked to something greater, cosmic; and the natural conditions; landscape, night sky and horizon line. A larger context, what we all see and recognize - our origins.
The project will be experienced as a landscape space in the urban densified structure, emptied of the usual artifacts, markings and visual noise, so there may be an openness where other narratives can arise - the social and the existential etc.
The project stands as a free space under the sky in the city's midst, a room which as a whole amounts to 20 000 sqm. The space will embrace our streams and allow us to experience communal context. It shall establish a special and exceptional arrival to the city.
The conceptual idea was to create a space with an open space in the landscape shaped by the forces that run through the place – of the movements in the railroad ditch and the power of our global unity.
Global to local context
The project is described as a section of a larger whole, this section describes the squares distinctiveness in relation to the known urban typologies and its location in the subway gate, in the stream.
The site is an open and limitless space in our global world of connections - where the social room is in constant flux.
The landscape space
The large landscape space is a timeless sphere of artificial form, allowing great changes to take place - in the midst. Turbulence and contradictions are what creates spirit and rhythm. It is us humans and the environment interacting with the space.
The square derives its function, significance and symbolism in that it plays on the more logical perceptions and feelings, and in that it constitutes a new sum, due to its entirety.
An artifact of a cosmic landscape that describes the flow, a public space in the city center, a break and a transitional room with distinctive size contrasts to its surroundings. There is a new joining of known elements and understandings that make up this common reason.
As an extension of the space arises a direct confrontation with the railroad trench, here is an internal structure created as an extension of the space and its vocabulary. Body language is a dialogue between the trench's form, train dimensions and contours to match the city.
The space and place is what it is due to its entirety and connection. Its importance as site, the cosmic means and powers that have been used in the vocabulary, the forces of the various currents and the constant external influences and every man's subjective perception.
A resting place for the city and a perspectivistic "infinity" which continues in and with the railroad trench course, it connects its swaying organic materiality to the city's geometric buildings.
It becomes glowing red when the sun reaches its decline, each stone stands out on the surface and gives the city a crimson tint before almost disappearing in the dark and is left there with its undulating silhouettes.
It has strong form contrasts to the cityscape and allows for the possibility to find calm in the chaos, where the soft meets the hard and the organic resist the geometric.
It fulfills an important function in human daily life, they gather on the square. It is able to stage something in a different and more transcending and meaningful way. It is neither purely functional or purely symbolic in its intention - it's a connection.
A constant dialogue between two worlds and a desire to visualize these forces apart as a muscle, ranging between two velocities and conditions - something that appears before it proceeds further through or out of town.
Physical model: 800x2200mm
As the regional train line approaches Copenhagen I see the last glimpse of the horizon over the sea disappear. This view of infinity has given me room and time to reflect – to let my mind wander off into thoughts regarding the city centre where I will arrive within approximately 30 minutes.
A bustling capital with everything that you would expect to find in our modern and urbanized world. 88% of the population in Denmark are now living together in urban areas. The Old Main Central where the train has its final destination, has over the recent decades become a place filled with commerce and unease.
These facts are what fills my mind during my travel towards this Portal that I know will whirl me into a totally different kind of world than we all departed from, in a not so distant past. How do we make both the arrival and transition from one state to another, into something we would actually want to remember?