Architecture Monday

We continue our tour of the Scandinavian city halls by heading over to Denmark tonight, landing ourselves before the Copenhagen City hall.  In some ways this one is a precursor to the others, being the first to be completed, inaugurated in 1905.

Also adorned in the ubiquitous (and lovely) red brick, the exterior here leans much heavier into the National Romantic style, with plenty of articulation and ornamentation.  A generous courtyard stands in the middle, and the clock tower remains one of the highest points near the downtown area.

As with the others the heart of the building, and the first thing you encounter upon entering, is the equally generous indoor hall.  While no pipe organ hides within (alas!), the amazing glass roof more than makes up for it.  The massing and composition of this indoor courtyard is exquisite – it’s a plethora of things (Arches! Gilded bas reliefs! Balconies! Friezes! Sculptural banding! Moldings! White stone! Red brick! Ornate columns!  Glass!) yet it doesn’t feel like a hodgepodge vomit of disparate parts.  Through careful proportion, well defined datum lines, and enough use of “white space” it instead becomes a delightful concoction.   (Click here to stand in the middle of it.)

Again, we didn’t take a tour so we only saw the more public areas of the building, but who needs a tour when you get such amazing artwork integrated throughout!   (I especially love the book-like vaulted ceiling…)

Another excellent and vibrant city centre.  Good stuff.  The Copenhagen City Hall by Martin Nyrop.

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