The Carlsberg City District in Copenhagen

Photo: Andreas Raun Rosendahl

A strong cultural heritage comes to life in Copenhagen’s newest neighbourhood, The Carlsberg City District, a place embedded in the history, culture, and science of the world-renowned Carlsberg Brewery. A unique neighbourhood, where historical buildings are flanked by modern residencies.

Facts about the Carlsberg brewery

  • The world’s third-largest brewery.
  • Founded in 1847 by brewer J.C. Jacobsen.
  • The brewery found its location due to clean water and large space.
  • The Carlsberg name origins from the brewery’s location on a hill in Danish bjerg and Carl Jacobsen, the brewer’s son.
  • Son Carl Jacobsen also becomes a brewer.
  • Carl Jacobsen founded his own brewery Ny Carlsberg in 1882, right next to his father’s becoming his competitor.
  • Carlsberg and Ny Carlsberg merged in 1906 and got the name The Carlsberg Breweries.
  • The Carlsberg breweries merged with their biggest competitor Tuborg in 1970.
  • The district was the home of the Carlsberg family.
  • J.C. Jacobsen had an additional Carlsberg laboratory in the city district working on how to brew the best beer.
  • The Carlsberg laboratory is also home to the invention of the pH scale and the method for purifying brewer’s yeast.
  • The Carlsberg brand includes three foundations, two culture-bearing museums, and a research laboratory.
  • In 2008 the entire beer production was moved to Jutland ending the brewing era in the district.

The buildings and landmarks of Copenhagen's Carlsberg City District

The historical brewing era has left behind exceptional architectural and artistic buildings and landmarks embedded in the innovation and values of the two brewers.

Rooted in history

The Carlsberg City District is a unique neighbourhood, deeply rooted in the history of the Copenhagen-founded brewery Carlsberg. The district’s ground used to be a former “island”, in the sense that it used to be a closed industrial ground. This brewing era has left behind a distinct fundament and exceptional heritage for the district to be built upon, handing the neighbourhood various presents in the form of historical buildings and industrial and scientific history.

This cultural heritage is due to the two brewers J.C. Jacobsen and his son Carl Jacobsen. Their respective identities have both contributed to the atmosphere and development of The Carlsberg City District. While the father, J.C. Jacobsen, was busy with science and research, he revolutionized the brewery process in Europe, sharing his knowledge and discoveries with the entire world for free. Whereas his son Carl Jacobsen had a strong passion for art and culture, making these elements a substantial part of the workers’ everyday life. These are values all thought out in the district’s design, keeping the past rooted in the future.

A unique urban planning

Carlsberg's respect for good construction, the curiosity of science, and their openness towards culture and cultures have been the inspiration and point of departure for the way the district has been devised.

The development of The Carlsberg City District takes advantage of the existing architecture and the gifts they have left behind. This historical architecture is not necessarily the most staggering architecture, but in many of the cases it is simply good and well thought through. It is dense, it is communal, and it is made in a perfect human scale.

De Hængende Haver

Photo:Andreas Raun Rosendahl

Inspired by the Carlsberg Brewery, the project and urban strategy are based on the same four pillars as the brewery. Here J.C. Jacobsen represents the production and science pillars, whereas Carl Jacobsen represents the art and culture pillars. Afterwards, the urban life strategy divided the district into 10 separate zones. Here each zone has distinct characteristics and identities. For example, zone 1 represents The Meeting Zone, zone 3 is for International Outlook and Art, and zone 7 is The Green Community. Every zone is created with the intention of contributing to a diverse and vivid city district.

Simultaneously The Carlsberg City District also has been modernized with a non-Danish frame of reference, as it is a project where they have chosen to build in height. Inspired by the medieval Italian city San Gimignano, known as the city of towers, the Carlsberg City District will feature nine high-rise buildings. At the same time, the urban life strategy focuses on maintaining the human scale by creating a varied pattern of passages and twenty-five formations of spaces in the area. It is also these space formations which have been the catalysts of the zoning of the district. The district becomes a unique combination of green recreational areas, but common for all of them is their mix of classic and modern expression.

Pasteurs tårn
Photo: Andreas Raun Rosendahl
The Carlsberg City District Urban Planning
Photo: Andreas Raun Rosendahl

The City District’s location between Valby, Frederiksberg, and Vesterbro will play an integral part in the neighborhood, emphasizing the uniqueness of building a new neighborhood in the middle of the city, rather than expanding the city.

Explore the Home of Carlsberg

From the 1st of December 2023, Home of Carlsberg will also open its new cultural attraction in the old brewery courtyard, J.C. Jacobsen’s first brewery on Valby Hill. The attraction will unfold the past, present, and future story of the Carlsberg family through a large interactive exhibition. The cultural attraction will also include a historic and protected area with a new restaurant and bar, the opportunity to experience the horse stable with the majestic brewing horses, their spectacular bottle collection, architectural buildings, beer tastings, as well as guided tours in the old cellars, which will reveal old secrets and stories.

The food and cultural experiences of The Carlsberg City District

A well-thought and executed urban strategy has resulted in a diverse and unique gastronomic and cultural scene in The Carlsberg City District that gives them an obvious international orientation and pinpoints them as a cultural, historical place.

Facts about the Carlsberg City District

  • Located between Frederiksberg, Valby, and Vesterbro.
  • The companies Carlsberg Byen, Entasis, and Briq are behind the new district.
  • The masterplan by Entasis won the highest international architecture price for the world’s best master plan in 2009.
  • The Carlsberg City District will be fully completed in the first quarter of 2025.
  • 20% of the constructions are missing as of spring 2023.
  • A mixture of historical buildings, modern residencies, and offices
  • It has 25 formations of space.
  • Divided into 10 zones, each with their distinct characteristics and identities.
  • Based on four pillars: production + science and art + culture
  • Inspired by the medieval Italian city San Gimignano, also known as the city of towers.
  • Has a curated and selected retail- and gastronomic scene.
  • Mainly bike paths run through the district, keeping the car on the roads at a minimum.

Carlsberg's influence on Copenhagen

Besides creating an entire brewery district, the two Carlsberg brewers also influenced an affected other architectural landmarks and developments in Copenhagen.

Press photos

Download a selection of pictures of The Carlsberg City District in Copenhagen. Press photos - The Carlsberg City District. The photographer must be credited.

Maltmagasinet The Carlsberg City District

Press photos: The Carlsberg City District

Photo: Andreas Raun Rosendahl

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Giuseppe Liverino

Senior Manager - Press & PR