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World Capital of Architecture 2023

What to experience during World Capital of Architecture in Copenhagen

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Copenhagen is busy planning a year full of architectural events as the capital of Denmark is the UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture starting 17 January 2023. Find a selection of experiences below and visit The City of Copenhagen’s official website for the complete overview.

Here is a list of experiences that stand out during the UNESCO/UIA World Capital of Architecture in Copenhagen:

The program of the UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture is full of small and large events throughout the year. Everyone is invited to take part in the program called Copenhagen in Common.

Wonderful Copenhagen

Official opening of the UNESCO/UIA World Capital of Architecture

January 17 is the official opening of the UNESCO/UIA World Capital of Architecture. His Royal Highness, The Crown prince of Denmark will be at the city hall of Copenhagen alongside the Chief Mayor of Copenhagen to officially welcome the world to Copenhagen as the architectural capital of the world. There will be an opening in the afternoon at Kongens Nytorv of a mirror cabinet, and the day will end at Arbejdermuseet with an official opening party.

Copenhagen - World Capital of Architecture
Danish Architecture Center

DAC Architecture Run

Danish Architecture Center invites everybody to join the DAC Architecture Run in Copenhagen on 17 February, 2 July, and 24 September. This run is an exploration run without timekeeping that lets you discover Copenhagen’s architecture in a new way. The run is open to everyone, including beginners, and participants can choose between walking 5 km or running 5 km or 10 km.


UNESCO-UIA verdensarkitekturåret i København i 2023
Daniel Rasmussen

Copenhagen Light Festival

Between 3-26 February, Copenhagen’s architecture will be the scene for visual art by local and international artists. Every evening, it will be possible to join a boat by Strömma Canal Tours to experience some of the most spectacular art pieces. It will also be possible to experience the light festival by bicycle or on foot. A complete overview of the art installations will be available on the official Copenhagen Light Festival website.

Daniel Rasmussen

UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen 2023

Between 2-6 July, Copenhagen will host the UIA World Congress of Architects expecting more than 10.000 participants from all over the world. The title of the congress is “Sustainable future - leave no one behind”. The World Congress will address how architects and professionals from the whole value chain of the built environment can contribute to the realization of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 6 themes of the world congress are climate adaptation, rethinking resources, resilient communities, health, inclusivity, and partnerships for change.


A swim at Urban Rigger
Daniel Rasmussen

Open House Weekend

Open House Copenhagen is an event headed by the Danish Architecture Center taking place for the first time 25-26 March 2023. 40 heritage buildings as well as new examples of innovative architecture will be open to the public. The National Bank of Denmark by architect Arne Jacobsen will be one of the buildings that will be open to the public for the first time. The concept started 30 years ago in London, UK, and today Open House weekends are held in more than 50 cities worldwide.

Copenhagen - World Capital of Architecture
Danish Architecture Center

Vilhelm Lauritzen exhibition at Danish Architecture Center

Esteemed Danish architecture firm Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects is celebrating its 100th anniversary with an exhibition at the Danish Architecture Center. The exhibition showcases some of the most famous buildings by Vilhelm Lauritzen and will be open to the public until 9 April 2023.

Copenhagen - World Capital of Architecture
Jens Linde

Sean Scully at Thorvaldsen’s Museum

The world-renowned artist Sean Scully showcases his large-scale, site-specific sculptures in his first-ever Danish solo show at Thorvaldsen’s Museum. The exhibition will take place until 5 March 2023.

Copenhagen - World Capital of Architecture
Effect Architects

Living Places

Living Places by EFFEKT is a temporary experimental living environment based on a regenerative approach. The building will showcase a new way of thinking that lowers carbon emissions and provide healthy homes and communities. The regenerative approach is translated into 5 building principles: healthy, shared, simple, adaptive, and scalable. By considering all stages of the building’s life cycle and understanding the implication of each design choice, it’s been possible to reduce emissions by up to 75% with existing technology. The building is the first habitat concept example, with a CO2 footprint three times lower than the current standard and a first-class indoor climate. Living places will open in the first quarter of 2023 in Jerbanebyen, Vesterbro, as a partner project under Copenhagen's title as UNESCO World Capital of Architecture 2023 and will keep being developed by EFFEKT, Moe, Velux, and Enemærke & Petersen.

Copenhagen - World Capital of Architecture 2023
Abdellah Ihadian

Copenhagen in Common exhibition at Danish Architecture Center

The summer exhibition at the Danish Architecture Center will focus on how everyone globally has architecture in common. The exhibition presents a wide range of Danish architects designing solutions for now and the future and runs from 4 May to 22 October. At the opening on May 4, The Danish Highline Association will cross the harbour on a 200-meter-long wire. More info here.

BLOX | Rasmus Hjortshøj

UIA World Congress of Architects’ pavilions

Architect firms will build pavilions along Copenhagen Harbour reflecting the UIA World Congress’ title 'Sustainable Futures - Leave No One Behind’. A common precondition for all pavilions is that they are designed based on principles of universal design, accessible to all and built with responsible use of materials. The pavilions will be open to all during the summer months. UIA will announce a list of the approved pavilions in early 2023.

Copenhagen - World Capital of Architecture 2023
Büro Jantzen

Architecture picnics

On Sunday 11 June 2023, every district in Copenhagen will host a long-table dinner picnic in a place that has a special meaning for the area. A secret garden, an overlooked square, the local schoolyard, and an old church. From here, tours and entertainment are organized with a focus on the district's architecture. Local eateries and producers prepare the food. The involved communities are Vesterbro, Valby, Brønshøj-Husum, Amager East and West, Nørrebro, Bispebjerg/Nordvest, Vanløse, Østerbro and Inner City. Copenhagen’s most popular shared space, Copenhagen Harbour, will also be celebrated with a long-table dinner.

CAFx – Copenhagen Architecture Festival
Daniel Rasmussen

CAFx – Copenhagen Architecture Festival

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary with 100+ events, Scandinavia’s biggest annual architecture festival, CAFx, will celebrate life in its diversity between 1-11 June. Guided by the theme Life Form, CAFx will rethink relations between form and life via new narratives, metaphors, and models for architecture, architectural production, and community formation across identities and species in the wake of the nature crises.

A highlight is the exhibition Water in CAFx’s office in Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District– a satellite of the Danish pavilion at the Venice Biennale, curated by director Josephine Michau. How can architecture stimulate climate adaptation and biodiversity in a time of rising sea levels and storm surges in coastal cities like Copenhagen?

harbour guided bike tour
Rikke Westesen

Guided bike tours on the UN sustainability goals in Copenhagen

The architect's guide firm BeCopenhagen will guide visitors through Copenhagen for a first-hand experience on how the locals are turning the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals into practice. Tours are run all year round.

Daniel Rasmussen

Temple of beauty – exploring the architecture of the glyptotek

A monument in the very heart of modern Copenhagen, the Glyptotek is a unique setting for works of art. Both inside and out, its buildings offer a myriad of stories and experiences, expressed through the various sequences of rooms, proportions, materials, textural qualities and effects of light. The architecture is crucial in terms of creating the atmosphere that visitors experience. But why does the Glyptotek look the way it does? What makes the Glyptotek such a unique building in Denmark? And what lurks behind the façades? The special exhibition celebrating the World Capital of Architecture year runs from 17 May until 19 October.

Kimsooja exhibition Cisternerne Frederiksberg
Malthe Ivarsson

Experience the unique space of Cisternerne

On 26 March until 30 November, the South Korean artist Kimsooja takes over the underground chambers of Frederiksberg with a brand-new exhibition at Cisternerne. For many years, Kimsooja has worked with light installations all over the world. Her art makes us aware of ourselves and our surroundings through simple artistic techniques that embrace the architectural space in its entirety, which is why she is the obvious choice for Cisternerne. The museum used to house the former water reservoirs for Copenhagen, which has created a unique exhibition space for artists to exploit under the ground of Søndermarken park. With her total installation in Cisternerne, Kimsooja will invite the audience into an illusory space where light splits in all the colors of the rainbow and transforms the former water reservoir into a sacred sea of light.

Guided architectural tour
Martin Heiberg

Cph:Cool Archi-tour

With the Archi-tour, Cph:Cool offers a new way to explore and experience the city’s authentic areas. Through a guided architectural walk, you will experience Copenhagen’s buildings and urban public spaces in a new way. The tour will give you a geographic and historical overview of the urban development and scales of the city. The tour will present both old and new buildings from renowned architects. In addition, the tour also sets up to discuss the architecture and their way of interacting with nature, people, and everyday life. It is a private tour and has to be pre-booked through the mail The tour is available from the 1st of January until the 31st of December 2023.

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