If design and architecture is ‘top of mind’, Denmark’s capital Copenhagen is hard not to include on one’s bucket list.
Copenhagen boasts a cornucopia of inspiring world-class architecture and timeless interior design, based on exceptional democratic and humanistic principles and a wish to design to improve life.
Being part of a power design destination legendary for combining functional beauty with great craftsmanship, simplicity, and sustainability, Copenhagen is nothing short of an international hot spot for checking out creative design solutions that last long and look good.
Originally, Danish design was a product of the 1950s, when prominent Danish designers such as Georg Jensen, Hans J. Wegner, Finn Juul and Arne Jacobsen, put Danish design firmly on the world map. Their legacy has influenced younger generations of Danish top-designers including the likes of Louise Campbell, HAY, Normann Copenhagen, Cecilie Manz and Muuto, who still draw on key elements of Danish design traditions, and all of which are visible in different spaces and places across Copenhagen.
A great number of innovative and acclaimed architects originate from here too. Arne Jacobsen designed iconic places like the Bellavista houses north of Copenhagen and the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Copenhagen in the 1950s - the latter down to the silverware used in the restaurant - making it the very first design hotel in the world. In the 1960s, more Danish architects entered the world scene, amongst them Jørn Utzon, who designed the iconic Sydney Opera House, and Henning Larsen with his Foreign Ministry building in Riyadh built in the 1980s.
Fast forward to today, and light, water, open spaces, functionality, and sustainability are the key elements in Copenhagen’s most recent architectural boom. Creative contemporary architectural structures shoot up everywhere and manage to blend in beautifully with the city’s old historic buildings and palaces. Bold urban planning and world-class architecture are found in several city hot spots, and people flock to Copenhagen from across the world to learn about ‘Danish design, architecture and urban planning’ like never. They visit areas like Nordhavn, Ørestad, the city center, and the scenic Copenhagen waterfront to study amazing modern architecture and design made for living and for people, and created by the likes of Bjarke Ingels Group, Cobe, Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, and many more.
Based on Copenhagen’s all-pervading architecture legacy and continuous booms of innovative buildings and urban spaces with an ever-increasing focus on combining designs with sustainability and quality of life.
Facts about Danish architecture & design
Iconic Danish architecture to go scout in the city and beyond includes; Copenhill, the Royal Opera House, 8Tallet, Bellavista and the Maritime Museum in Elsinore.
Examples of great urban planning are; the Bicycle Snake, the harbour baths and the Circle Bridge in the inner city.
Iconic appliances and pieces include the likes of Hans Wegner’s ‘Wishbone’ and Louise Campbell’s ‘Prince’ chairs.
In early 2022, Design Museum Denmark, offering excellent permanent exhibitions on the Danish design legacy, its historical roots, and great sources of inspiration, is scheduled to re-open after an extensive renovation.
In 2023, Copenhagen is to host the UIA World Congress of Architects and nominated as UNESCO World Capital of Architecture 2023 too.
Bjarke Ingels Groups is currently one of the most influential Danish architects with offices - and impressive structures – across the world.