Residential green islands in the harbour

Enghavn used to be an industrial port environment along a wide waterway through Copenhagen. Now it is transforming into a residential area, by digging narrower canals that create islands for residencies in a green environment. Across one of the existing harbours, the Frederiksholmløbet, a bridge is required, as the new residents need quick and easy access to the motorway and the metro station.

With this design by ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects the bridge will also be a natural part of the neighbourhood, that will breathe a much more friendly and urban atmosphere because of the irregular and green islands than was the case before when high grey quays, warehouses and factories dominated the scene. For cyclists and pedestrians, whether on their way to go shopping, walking the dog or running, the bridge should be a comfortable and appreciated fixture along the way through the neighbourhood.

Why do people appreciate a bridge?

For a start because it is in exactly the right spot, allowing an unhindered and efficient crossing over the obstacle that the water forms. The Frederiksholmløbet bridge serves car traffic with bicycle and pedestrian lanes on both sides. Another reason people like bridges is that they have a characteristic and recognizable look. The Frederiksholmløbet bridge has two slim light masts that seamlessly fit into the simple and gracious design of the bridge. Especially when the sun goes down the light masts turn the bridge into a recognizable landmark.

A bridge is not just functional, but can also be a nice place to stay for a while, and more so when the weather is good. That is why an extra routing is added on the inside of the bridge, clad in hardwood, allowing to cross the bridge from the quays and the hardwood jetties included in the design. People will also love to enjoy the view of the light over the broad waterway and the passing boats. The bridge and its immediate surroundings are meant to become a gathering point for people going for a walk, a run, doing some angling or boating in a canoe. On summer nights the jetties could be the place for musicians, while jugglers entertain people on the curved stairways. The bridge brings people and the water in this part of the city closer together in attractive and diverse ways.

Materials and light

Everything in the design is focused on clarity, safety and ease of maintenance. The deck of the bridge is slender and slightly curved, resting on only four supports. Hard wood and galvanized steel suggest sturdiness and quality, while referring to the industrial past of the area. Extra attention is given to the lighting scheme on the bridge. There should be sufficient light at night to feel safe and recognize each other, but the people living near the bridge should not be bothered by the light. The well-defined and tuned LED lamps and the flood lights in the footpaths are designed to do precisely that.

A bridge is a public space

That is the reason that the design for this bridge connects to the vision behind the development of this area as close as possible. Modern and efficient living on a human scale, in a safe and comfortable public space, that invites an active, healthy life style, a varied social life in the neighbourhood and appreciation of the functional elegance of the urban environment.

Client: The municipality of Copenhagen
Contractor: EKJ Radgivende Ingeniører AS
Structural Engineer: WTM Engineers GmbH
Technical Advisor: Geo Copenhagen
Landscape Architect: OKRA Landschapsarchitecten
Tender 2015

Project: #888