by Snell in New Design on Tuesday 18 November 2008

The Danes are renowned for their considered and subtle design. However, in these times of change, they must feel they need something with this selection of a bridge building as the winner of a recent architectural competition in Denmark. The American architect Steven Holl designed this building with a pedestrian bridge that links two sides of the harbour in the distinctly low-rise Copenhagen. Full of many sustainable features, such as wind turbines that power the pedestrian bridge, the design aims to ensure that Copenhagen has a striking harbour gateway that is also a literal link. As supporters of contemporary development, this example has unfortunately left us feeling underwhelmed. There is something so awkward about the whole thing, a lacking in proportion that seems to miss the point of the qualities of that place. Then again, those qualities could belong to the ‘old’ Copenhagen.