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        Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts
        Showing posts with label architecture. Show all posts

        22 November 2019

        7550 New Bike Parking Spots at Copenhagen Central Station

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        For all of Copenhagen's badassness as a bicycle city, there remains one thing that the City still completely sucks at. Bicycle parking at train stations. At Copenhagen Central Station there are only about 1000 bike parking spots. Danish State Railways can't even tell us how many spots they have. They're not sure.

        Even in Basel they have 800+. In Antwerp they have this. Don't even get me started on the Dutch. 12,500 bike parking spots are on the way in some place called Utrecht. Amsterdam has a multi-story bike parking facility, floating bicycle barges round the back and are planning 7000 more spots underwater.

        Even at the nation's busiest train station, N?rreport, the recent and fancy redesign failed miserably in providing parking that is adequate for the demand. Architects once again failing to respond to actual urban needs.

        It is time to remedy that. Here is my design for 7550 bike parking spots behind Copenhagen Central Station. Steve C. Montebello is the architect that I worked closely with.

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        By exploiting the area over the train tracks and using Tietgens Bridge as the transport spine, we have created an iconic bicycle parking facility with ample parking spots at this important transport hub where trains, buses and - in 2019 - the Metro converge in an inter-modal transport orgy.

        In our work on the EU project BiTiBi.eu - Bike Train Bike - we have been focused on parking solutions at train stations. It was a natural evolution to use that experience in developing this project.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        The structure is supported by columns and utilises the existing platforms below, which dictated the shape that we decided upon.

        There are:
        - 6880 bike parking spots in double-decker racks. This can be expanded with 1360 more if necessary.
        - 30 dedicated cargo bike parking spots featuring.
        - 640 secure, indoor bike parking spots in the green roofed building at left (above).
        - A bike shop for repairs and maintenence.
        - Ticket machines and displays for departures and arrivals of trains and buses.
        - At the end of the long point, the belvedere will be the world's premiere, dedicated lookout spot design for trainspotters.

        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        Here is the view of the area as it is today.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There are four on/off ramps from Tietgens Bridge for ease-of-access.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        A secure bicycle parking facility will house 640 bikes.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        We used 3D models of bike racks courtesy of our colleagues at the Dutch company Falco. They know a thing or two about bike racks.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There will be a space for a bike shop for repairs and maintenence located at the entrance, next to ticket machines and displays featuring departures and arrivals for trains and buses.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        The parking with have signs with areas divided up alphabetically, so you can find your bike again.
        Copenhagenize Design Co. - Bike Parking at Central Station
        There is access to the three platforms below by stairs that will, of course, have bike ramps. Duh.

        This facility will right so many wrongs and will thrust Copenhagen into the 21st century regarding bicycle parking at train stations. If we are  to maintain the momentum of a blossoming bicycle-friendly city, we need to up our game regarding parking.

        06 April 2017

        Copenhagen's Fantastic & Stupid Bicycle Bridge Inderhavnsbro

        Copenhagen's Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge - Photo: City of Copenhagen
        It's no secret that Copenhagen continues to invest massively in bicycle infrastructure like no other city on the planet. The network is already comprehensive and effective but the City continues to add important links, especially over the harbour and the canals.

        One of the more recent additions is the Inner Harbour Bridge - Inderhavnsbroen in Danish - that spans Copenhagen Harbour at a key, strategic and iconic point. It links the city center at the end of the postcard picture perfect Nyhavn with the Christianshavn neighbourhood and the southern neighbourhoods beyond.

        It is one of a series of 17 new bridges or underpasses for bicycle traffic that have been added to the City's transport network in the past few years.

        The Inner Harbour Bridge was riddled with problems and was extremely delayed, as you can read here. Now, however, it's been open since July 2016.

        Let me be clear... I'm thrilled that we have a new, modern link over the harbour to accommodate bicycle traffic and pedestrians. I am over the moon that the number of cyclists crossing daily exceeds all projected numbers. The City estimated that between 3000-7000 cyclists would use the bridge but the latest numbers are 16,000.

        It's a massive success. But sometimes you can see the forest for the trees. I'm sorry, but Inderhavnsbro is a stupid, stupid bridge.

        It fulfills it's primary function of allowing people to cross a body of water. But it is a cumbersome, beastly thing that is completely and utterly out of place in the delicate urban, historical and architectural context of its location. A fantastic overcomplication of the simple, timeless art of bridges that open and close. Designed by an architect named Cezary Bednarski from an architecture bureau will roots in two countries where cycling is no longer mainstream transport, it has failed miserably in respecting the basic concepts of bicycle urbanism and the established standards for infrastructure and facilities. By the looks of it, Studio Bednarski didn't even bother to understand them.

        Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge - Copenhagen

        The nickname for the monster is the "kissing bridge" and it is flawed in so many ways. After millenia with perfectly functional designs to cross water like drawbridges and swing bridges, this architect decided to overcomplicate the concept. The bridge meets in the middle, where the two sides "kiss". A nice, giggly idea on a distant architecture office desk but quite stupid in practice. It proved incredibly difficult to make the giggly idea work.

        Crossing the bridge by bicycle involves two sharp turns - two chicanes. Chicanes designed by someone who doesn't ride a bicycle. Cyclists are shunted sharply and rudely towards the middle of the bridge and back out to the side again. Perhaps the idea of getting the two sides to "kiss" was too difficult with the length of the bridge or the width required to make the kiising part work. The quirky kissing idea is the primary objective, at the expense of common sense. The primary visual gimmick is that the glass panels change colour as the bridge opens. Oooh. Wow.

        For a century, Best Practice standards for details like chicanes have been in place. We know what curvature works best for comfort and for safety. These chicanes pose serious problems and they are clearly visible for anyone to see. You can see from the bicycle tracks in rain that people just cut the corners of them.

        Inderhavnsbroen - Inner Harbour Bridge

        A more serious concern is the many skidmarks you see on the bridge as you head downwards in either direction. I stop and study them every time I cross. Have a look when you cross. There are always fresh ones. They stop before the glass barriers, but I figured out why, as you can see in the photo, above.

        Inderhavnsbroen - Inner Harbour Bridge

        People crown the bridge in the middle and then get speed up, but many people fail to realise that the architect wasn't capable of a straight line and they slam on the brakes and hit the glass. I don't know if anyone has gone over the edge into the water, but the physics provide a perfect storm.

        Inderhavnsbroen - Inner Harbour Bridge Inderhavnsbroen - Inner Harbour Bridge
        Look at the glass barrier in the above photo. The City has realised there is an issue and have slapped up a large, red and white warning sign to try and help people realise that it's a dead-end.

        If you need to put warning signs on a design, it is basically a crappy design. Period.

        The grade to get up the bridge also ignores Best Practice standards for bicycle infrastructure. In this article you can read how most standards were established in the 1920s and 1930s. The architect probably thought "bike" and a spandexy dude on a race bike popped into his head. I have seen a few people get off and walk up the incline, but most just muscle their way up. The bridge is too steep. It is not designed for a mainstream bicycle city and the architect didn't bothering researching the fact that we have 40,000 cargo bikes filled with kids and goods in Copenhagen.

        On all the other bicycle bridges in Copenhagen a simple boom will drop to the sound of a simple ringing bell to stop cyclists and pedestrians when the bridge is opening. Compare that simple design to the huge, groaning barriers that rise like creatures from the black lagoon on the Inderhavnsbro. Comical overcomplication.

        Another detail is that there are no ramps on the stairs on the pedestrian side - unusual in Copenhagen - but necessary. That is easily fixed, compared the rest of the nightmare.

        Is using municipal funding to experiment with giggly, freestyle designs really a good idea? The bridge was also funded by a philanthropic fund - but does that mean that we don't have to be rational when we get free stuff?

        I can easily and rightfully criticize the architect who failed miserably at his task, but lest we forget there was a jury of Copenhageners who actually looked at this and voted "YES!" So there are many fools at this party.

        Inderhavnsbroen - Inner Harbour Bridge
        There are so many moving parts that breakdowns will be inevitable. It's already happened a number of times. Ships have been stuck on the wrong side because it couldn't open. The little tent, above, appeared suddenly and was in place for more than a week. That's hardly good for mobility. A fancy schmancy bridge in Kiel, Germany, ended up having so many problems that another bridge was built next to it, to be used when the fancy bridge breaks down. Is that where we are heading in Copenhagen?

        The bridge is nothing more than "magpie architecture". A shiny object that attracted the favour of the people who selected it. Seduced by bling and fake innovation instead of being guided by timeless rationality and basic design principles. It follows in the sad tradition of Squiggletecture, where bridges and facilities are designed by architects who don't understand the users.

        What's more, in an attempt to appease the wealthy sailboat crowd, the City of Copenhagen agreed to let the bridge open 30 times a month - far more than the six times a month that the other main links over the harbour - Knippelsbro and Langebro -open. This bridge will be unreliable as a transport option for people who are just trying to get to work or education once the sailing season starts.

        The basic principles of Danish Design - practical, functional and elegant - were sadly forgotten in the choice of this bridge. The shine will wear off and, I fear, we'll be faced with more expensive problems.

        Facepalm.

        25 October 2016

        From the Bicycle Snake to Chinese Vanity Project

        Let's just get to it, shall we.

        Cyclists are not random boxes of corn flakes that you store up on a shelf, out of sight - out of mind.

        They are urban citizens contributing as much as the next - often more - to urban life. Like pedestrians and public transport users, they are best served at street level as integral threads woven into the rich urban fabric to contribute to the beautiful complexities of city life. Anthropologically, socially, financially.

        For over a century we have understood the necessity of Best Practice infrastructure. We have tried and tested it with hundreds and hundreds of millions of people - and perfected it. We have measured and gauged it in order to understand it. We have regarded it as a beautiful, functional thing and designed it accordingly.

        For 7000 years we have lived together in cities, on equal footing. In the splendid democracy of urban space. The streets were the most democratic spaces in the history of homo sapiens.


        Super Bicycle Snake planned for Chinese city Xiamen.

        Which makes this new project by Danish architecture bureau Dissing+Weitling for the city of Xiamen look completely ridiculous. An eight kilometer long shelf designed to place cyclists out of sight and out of mind. This is what happens when architecture gets drunk at the christmas party and sleeps with car-centric engineering, without listening to the wise advice of urban planning and anthropology.

        British architect Norman Foster amused us back in 2014 with his plans to shelve cyclists in London with his ridiculous SkyCycle project. Other plans for bicycle "infrastructure" in London were equally amusing in this 2015 article.

        It is nothing short of embarrassing when a Danish firm is so keen on producing "Magpie Architecture" and even tries to polish it shinier:

        "Xiamen's broad boulevards are reserved for automobiles and they are life-threatening for cyclists. Therefore, the raised bicycle connection will be a welcome improvement of the city's infrastructure for cyclists", it says on the Dissing+Weitling website.

        This is the firm that designed the renowned Cykelslangen - Bicycle Snake for the City of Copenhagen. - an solution that fulfills all the requirements of Danish Design - functional, practical and elegant.

        The Bicycle Snake is a short, simple and brilliant solution to one unique location. There is nowhere else in Copenhagen where such a structure is needed. It is a perfect example of tactical, location-oriented design. And hey. Dissing+Weitling know bridges. They have been quite good at designing them - both for cars and for bikes/peds. Many are beautiful and their designs avoid the usual Squiggletecture we see emerging from the Photoshopped ideas of many others who don't understand bicycle urbanism.

        Using the basic concept of the Bicycle Snake to erase cyclists from the cityscape, however, reveals the complete disconnect between our struggle for creating better cities and the seductive, ego-enhancement of mega-projects. Rationality falls off the back rack.

        When designed infrastructure or, indeed, anything involving public space, do we not also bear an enormous responsibility on our shoulders for teaching about urban life and development? Is it a sell-out to just cash a paycheque from a Chinese city so completely intent on maintaining a car-centric paradigm?

        "There is still a massive potential related to spreading the humanistic, user-oriented approach to design that we take for granted in our modern, Nordic design tradition. Foreign clients really listen when we present them with our complete, well thought out solutions that often show great consideration to the people who will use the solutions - and that also combine functional, Nordic architecture". So sayeth Steen Savery Trojaborg,  partner at Dissing+Weitling.

        You want to know where the potential is? In understanding urban life. Understanding a urban, human journey across seven millenia - as well as promptly rejecting outright the past century of car-centric thought - and applying that to our established designs.


        Visualisation of a Guangzhou street with Danish cycle tracks with curbs

        Fortunately, other Danish influences in China are rational and based on user-friendly designs, as we wrote in this article back in 2011, about Danish consultant Troels Andersen and his work in the city of Guangzhou. The city is planning 1000 km of bicycle infrastructure and greenways, including Best Practice designs like the curb-separated infrastructure pictured above.

        XIAMEN
        We had a look at the city of Xiamen here at the Copenhagenize Design Co. office today. To gain some context.

        According to the local media, the city is, like so many other Chinese cities, starting to take the bicycle seriously as transport once again. The city has 43 km of cycle track under construction around the lake - primarily recreational and therefore less relevant for transport. But as you can see on the map on the left, 107 km of bicycle infrastructure is planned in two phases on the island on which Xiamen is located. The proposed Bicycle Snake is highlighted in orange on the left and presented on its own on the right.

        107 km is far from the 1000 km underway in Guangzhou or the proposed 3200 km (!) planned in Beijing by 2020 (!) but nonetheless positive. It really is what we're seeing all over the world.

        It was difficult for our in-house Chinese architect to find any comprehensive information in Chinese about the proposed Bicycle Snake in Xiamen apart from this article. The only official comment about it, from the zoning commission, reads like this:

        "The “Yunding Road” bike bridge is an attempt to popularize the bike life. In the future we would combine the needs of the citizens, gradually implementing cycle tracks and other facilities in and outside Xiamen Island".

        So it reads a bit like a vanity project for the city. What an expensive route to take when your plan is allegedly to integrate the bicycle as transport properly "in the future". If, as Dissing+Weitling say, "Foreign clients really listen when we present them with our complete, well thought out solutions that often show great consideration to the people who will use the solutions" then get them to listen to rational ideas that actually make sense, benefit the citizens, the public health and expedite the transformation to a more liveable city where the bicycle is an equal partner in the traffic equation instead of designing Disneyland gimmicks for them.

        On this local forum, there are positive comments about the "Air Bicycle Bridge", which is how the project name translates directly from Chinese.

        - "If Xiamen succeeds, other cities will catch up, right? This is good news!"
        - "Green transportation is being pushed everywhere. I hope we can do more for bicycle development."

        There are, however, detractors. Giving us an insight into the background for this project.
        - "Us cyclists need basic rights and a good environment, not just one or two vanity projects. Who will maintain this facility?"
        - "Our government is rich and just wants to spend some money".

        The Bicycle Snake in Copenhagen is a project of visionary, iconic proportions and serves a functional, practical purpose. An eight kilometer long version in Xiamen is merely a vanity project for everyone involved. 

        "Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief". Jane Austen.

        24 October 2016

        Copenhagenize Slopes - Iconic Architectural Topography, Housing, and Public Space

        Copenhagenize Slopes 011
        Copenhagenize Slopes 1,2,3. Reversing the Arrogance of Space on Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard in Copenhagen and re-demoractizing the space with 507 apartments of 50 m2, an urban park at street level, public space on 500 m of green roofs and bicycle parking for every resident and guest.

        For all the talk of Copenhagen being “all that” in so many urban ways, challenges and problems persist in the Danish capital. Here at Copenhagenize Design Co. we channel our impatience with lack of political will in our own city into design and ideas. Lack of bicycle parking around Copenhagen Central Station led to this solution. A dreadfully planned street in the ?sterbro neighbourhood led to this redesign.

        Now we decided to tackle the biggest, smelliest elephant in the Copenhagen room. One that that has been demonstratively ignored by generations of politicians in this city. Denmark’s most famous writer, Hans Christian Andersen, would surely turn over in his grave if he knew that the nation’s most car-congested street was named after him.

        Hans Christian Andersen Boulevard. Clockwise from bottom left: As it looks now; 1960s, 1905, 1970s

        60,000 cars rumbling down the canyon-like swatch of asphalt that carves the city centre in two ain’t no fairytale, sunshine. Cities with attitude need grand boulevards, it would seem. What they do with them, however, in an excellent indicator of how a city is geared towards the future of mobility. On this front, Copenhagen lags behind so many other European cities by allowing H.C. Andersens Boulevard and ?boulevarden exist in their current form.

        For at least a couple of decades there has been talk of putting the 60,000 cars into a tunnel underneath the existing road. Not a strange idea, considering that so many other European cities have been doing that for ages. When H.C. Andersen Boulevard crosses The Lakes, it changes name to ?boulevarden. Recently, a proposed project to dig up the stream that used to run along the surface before car-centric urban planning buried the stream into a pipe beneath the cars gained purchase in the imaginations of the citizens of the city.

        ?boulevarden - clockwise from left: proposal for restoring the river, the river as it used to be, the current traffic each day on the road.

        Great stuff. We don’t, however, have faith that City Hall is going to act on this. The discussion pops up every few years and then fades away. This city is, quite simply, afraid of reducing car traffic.

        Copenhagenize Slopes 004

        So here is our baseline. We need housing in Copenhagen, preferably affordable housing. We need it badly. We need more green roofs for biodiversity and more public space. We have a huge swath of urban space used primarily by what Italian traffic planners called parasites. People who don’t even live in the City of Copenhagen or Frederiksberg and who certainly don’t pay taxes here. We have such high pollution on this stretch that the European Union has subpoenaed the Danish government, wanting to take them to court over their inaction on reducing pollution on this road. The current, right-wing Danish government actually wanted to move the air quality measuring station farther away from the road in order to get better results - even though we all know that a reduction in car traffic can drastically reduce pollution - as proven here.

        So, basically, if nobody is willing to bury the road, then let’s simply reallocate the space to more intelligent use. Let’s re-democratize it. I cycle along the boulevard every day. There are wide, safe cycle tracks to accommodate the over 25,000 daily bicycle users on the stretch, but it is bizarre to ride alongside 6-8 lanes of cars. It is Arrogance of Space ftw. For years I have envisioned a different solution and I have finally had the time to develop it. Together with Kan Chen 陈侃 from Copenhagenize Design Company.

        Copenhagenize Slopes 003

        Welcome to Copenhagen Slopes.

        Three iconic buildings providing 507 apartments of 50 m2, three sections of green space below the structures, over 500 m of public space on the green roofs and slapping some seriously topography in the heart of the Danish capital.

        Copenhagenize Slopes 011
        Aerial view from the south-west.

        This stretch of HC Andersen's Boulevard is rather lifeless and uninspiring from an urban planning and architectural point of view. Drab and uninviting. The Slopes will add life and dynamics and remove four car lanes - improving air quality and contributing to improving the public space.

        Copenhagenize Slopes 010
        View from the south, with City Hall in the foreground.

        We ran the idea past an unsuspecting Copenhagen Mayor Morten Kabell, from the Technical & Environmental Dept..

        “It’s a wild and creative idea! The small apartments are cool - we need them. We have to find out how to get rid of the many cars that currently use H.C. Andersen’s Boulevard. Tramways across the whole city would provide a necessary alternative for motorists - and it would be brilliant to get rid of the car lanes, like you suggest. The idea of getting up high and combining it with green areas is cool. I like that.”


        Copenhagenize Slopes 006 Copenhagenize Slopes 005
        Pedestrian and bike parking access at all six entry points to the three buildings. Ample bike parking - for cargo bikes, too.

        This being Copenhagen, with a car ownership rate of only 22% - and this being 2016 - the building won't have any car parking spots - much like the Bicycle House in Malm?, Sweden. It will, however, have ample bike parking and access for all residents and guests - including cargo bikes. This is a city with 40,000 cargo bike, so that is a no-brainer.

        Copenhagenize Slopes 007
        The roofs of the three buildings are designated as public space. Challenging stairs to get the thighs burning - inspired by this Dutch bridge. With terraces/viewing platforms at peak locations on each building. We thought that a restaurant or two could be housed on the top floor, with outdoor seating.

        Copenhagenize Slopes 008
        Balconies are a must. Duh.

        Copenhagenize Slopes 009
        View from the north-west, with the city centre in the background.

        Let's do this.


        ----
        Previous projects in the same vein from Copenhagenize Design Company:

        01 August 2016

        The Bicycle Bridges of Copenhagen




        By Mia Riefkohl / Copenhagenize Design Company

        The City of Copenhagen minds the gaps. Over the past decade, we have witnessed radical changes in the connectivity of Copenhagen, a city bisected by a harbour. We’ve watched as thirteen bridges have popped up (with four more on their way), connecting previously cut off neighbourhoods while facilitating a 13 km recreational path, the Harbour Circle. Mobility and bicycle user experience are both high priorities on the City’s agenda, and these bridges are only a part of a greater plan. But most notable of all, each and every one of these new bridges are off-limits to automobiles, saying loud and clear that this is a city for people. A Life-Sized City. To show how serious the city takes connectivity, we created a map showcasing the new and upcoming bicycle bridges of Copenhagen.

        The map above is divided into three categories: the built, the temporary and the proposed. The ten already built are currently in use by those looking for a fast A to B. Bridges are the mobility link inside the urban toolbox that effortlessly solves the problem of crossing an obstacle. Done properly, a bridge is A-to-Bism at it’s finest. The significant number of  bridges is immediately noticeable on our map. While thirteen new bridges for bicycle users and pedestrians have opened since 2006, nine of of them were built in the last two years alone.

        Overcoming the Harbour and Canals

        Completed in 2006, Bryggebroen was the first new connection built over the Copenhagen harbour in centuries. Bryggebroen served to connect Havneholmen to Islands Brygge and beyond, giving Copenhageners a much needed connection over the harbour. However, crossing the bridge into the city, riders were forced to choose between two inconvenient options: to push their bicycle up  steep stairs, or take an inconvenient, indirect, detour weaving through pedestrians. This gap was filled with the addition of the Cykelslangen, (The Bicycle Snake), in 2014. Cykelslangen is an elevated, orange bike lane, elegantly connecting Bryggebroen to the neighbouring districts, along a dedicated, bicycle only pathway. Shortly after opening, Cykelslangen became an instant Copenhagen urban icon for it’s practical, elegant and functional Danish design. At last count, the two bridges accommodated 14,200 and 12,700 daily bicycle riders, respectively, far exceeding traffic flow predictions. These two bridges set a new standard, bicycle bridges are not only widely popular among residents and visitors alike, but an incredible investment.


        Bryggebroen (upper) and Cykelslangen (lower) connecting neighbourhoods. Photo: Ole Malling.

        In 2009, we wrote: “What the city needs is access across the harbour farther east, closer to the city centre on the Inner Harbour. Our new Opera and the former military area called Holmen, would benefit greatly from increased access. A network of bridges is needed.” The City took note of these gaps and seven years later the results are in. With four new bridges in the area, Holmen is now better integrated with the rest of the city in all directions. Urban acupuncture at it’s best.
        The Inderhavnsbro (AKA the Inner Harbour Bridge, AKA the kissing bridge, AKA the missing bridge), connecting Holmen to Nyhavn, Kongens Nytorv and beyond, opened just three weeks ago, with an already noticeable effect on pedestrian and bicycle flow on Holmen. In addition to the Inner Harbour Bridge, Trangravsbroen and Proviantbroen, have made it easier, faster and safer to move on foot and by bicycle across Holmen and Christianshavn.



        The new Inderhavnsbro connects the city centre with Holmen and beyond.

        Trangravsbroen conveniently connects three corners of the Holmen district.

        Shorter bridges over 17th Century canals, such as Cirkelbroen (the Circle Bridge), and the Frederiksholm Canal bridge, help link almost the entire harbour. Designed by the Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, Cirkelbroen opened in 2015 and fixed a minor, but important gap in the mobility network of Copenhagen. This beautiful, but modest bridge connects Christiansbro with Applebys Plads and accommodates 2,200 bicycle users daily. Even smaller bridges, less decorated bridges, like Dyssegravenbroen and Laboratoriegravenbroen bridge in Christiania and the Lersoparken-Ryparken bridge also have a big, positive impact on A-to-Bism. The Dyssegraven and Laboratoriegraven bridges are new connections from eastern Amager into the city. While we were biking through Dyssegraven, we stopped and asked a local for his thoughts on the bridge: “It is part of something big. Copenhagen does a lot for cyclists and pedestrians to get around.” We couldn’t agree more.

        Olafur Eliasson's Cirkelbroen, inspired by a harbour full of sail boats.


        Laboratoriegravbroen in Christiania.


        Bridging Urban Divides
        It’s easy to see the need for bridges in a maritime city like Copenhagen, but the City’s efforts to connect the urban fabric doesn’t end at the harbour’s edge. Bridges and tunnels also connect bicycle riders to areas previously cut off by busy roads, railways, and construction sites.  
        The bridge between Lersoparken and Ryparken was completed in 2014, allowing for pedestrians and bicycle users to cross between two parks and neighborhoods while avoiding indirect and busy roads. ?buen, opened in 2008, eliminated the challenge for bicycle users approaching and exiting the road bordering between N?rrebro and Frederiksberg. Folehaven Bridge will connect and ensure a safe passage between the Vigerslev park and the Folehave area over the rest of Valby. This bridge will help bicycle users avoid the major traffic barrier that is. The bridge will be located at the municipal boundary and with it’s design it will serve as a dramatic welcome to the city of Copenhagen, reminding automobiles that bicycles are above them.


        ?buen, crossing over ?gade

        The city is currently developing two new metro lines, creating inconvenient detours to get around. Two temporary bridges symbolize the commitment of the city to cyclist mobility and not strictly on construction efforts. The Sorted Lake bridge is a new way of experiencing the picturesque lake through a floating shortcut, since the Metro expansion has reduced some of the regular gravel paths next to the lake’s shore. Once the expansion of the Metro is over in 2018, the paths will be back to normal and the floating bridge will be eliminated. Another temporary bridge over Frederiksholms canal was put in this year to give pedestrians and bicycle users the opportunity to bypass the construction of Blox, the future home of Realdania and the Danish Architecture Centre. Without this temporary bridge, one can be strolling down the southern Frederiksholms canal and end up at a dead end forced into relatively fast automobile traffic. If you are on the north side, you must return to the Prince's Bridge near Christiansborg Show Grounds.
        And lastly, we have a tunnel. The airy, well-lit ?sterbro tunnel opened last year, addressing a major barrier separating residents and bicycle users from Nordhavn and the waterfront. For businesses and residents on Marmormolen, Amerika Plads, and in ?rhusgade, this tunnel cuts a significant portion of the transportation time welcoming 2,700 bicycle commuters each day.


        The newly opened ?sterbro tunnel


        Bridges on the Horizon
        The four proposed new bridges will all further develop the accessibility of the central part of the city and the harbour. Langebrogadebro will connect Vester Voldgade and Langebrogade in Amager and is expected to be completed in 2018 as part of Realdania’s Blox development. The bridge will become part of the green wave network or ‘Gr?n B?lge’ that will relieve both car and bicycle congestion of Langebro and Knippelsbro.


        As part of Realdania's BLOX development, the foundation has announced Langebrogadebroen, a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the harbour.

        B?nkebro (The Bench Bridge) will connect Teglholmen and Enghave Brygge, in 2018. The residents of these two areas are currently forced to take a very busy and tedious detour along Vasbygade to commute to and from the city centre, which can easily diminish the desire to commute by bicycle. The new, upcoming B?nkebro will be a nice shortcut through the harbour with less noise and nicer scenery. Once finished, it will be easier to ride all the way down the south harbour connecting the newly developed area at Sluseholmen, and the upcoming commercial and residential area at Enghave Brygge, to the rest of the city.

        And perhaps most fantastical of all, there’s the Nordhavn Tower Bridge incorporated into the Copenhagen Gate tower development. Taking the elevation into account, the bridge is hardly an A to B solution. Though initially meant to serve pedestrians and bicycle riders, the latest plans suggest the bicyclists will not be admitted onto the bridge. The bridge will lead from one tower to the other, one at Marmormolbyen and the other upon Langelinie. Each tower will carry its own cable-stay bridge between the two piers and due to the site geography, these bridges will meet at an angle. And we thought the kissing bridge idea was crazy…


        The proposed Copenhagen Gate

        08 July 2016

        Copenhagen's Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge

        Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge - Copenhagen

        By Mark Werner / Copenhagenize Design Company

        Copenhagen’s Inderhavnsbroen (Inner Harbor Bridge) has been a seemingly never ending story of mishaps and constant delays. This bridge has endured problems ranging from incorrect designs to contractor bankruptcies, all of which have led to pushbacks of the process day-by-day, month-by-month. From an effort by the city to connect all parts of the harbor for tourists and allowing eager citizens to shave minutes off their commutes, has led to a massive headache and a chorus of groans and eye-rolls by citizens and traveler alike. Locally known as the “kissing bridge” through these constant delays it has subsequently earned its name as the “missing bridge”.

        Inderhavnsbroen is an entirely new design for a bridge or, in other words, overcomplicated beyond belief. It was intended to be a radical distinguished design unique to Copenhagen, beyond the average drawbridges that have worked for more than a thousand years across water everywhere.
        Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge - Copenhagen Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge - Copenhagen

        Inderhavnsbroen consists of two moving platforms that meet in the center, and like a puzzle piece metal points one side of the bridge slides and locks into the other side. These two platforms slide outward into the immobile segments of the bridge, leaving a gap in the center letting boats through. It's a bit too much like Magpie Architecture to us.

        Inderhavnsbroen is part of Copenhagen’s much larger plan, known as the Harbor Circle project, to ease commuting and increase connectivity of many notable points around the harbor for visitors and locals.

        This bridge would link the highly visited Nyhavn, and the business heavy area of Kongens Nytorv, to the highly populated Christianshavn onto the island Amager. With roughly 3-7,000 cyclists expected daily, significant congestion would be relieved from the closest and traffic-heavy Knippelsbro (bridge) with over 40,000 cyclists a day.


        Construction for Inderhavnsbroen began in 2011 and was set for completion in early 2013...not the case, as it stands incomplete today and no formal opening in sight. It has become one of Copenhagen’s most notable points, but for all the wrong reasons.

        [1] The sequence of problems began as early as 2012 when two of the main support beams arrived 60cm too tall! This was due to poor drawings in the plan. It’s bad enough for engineers to make a mistake of a few millimeters, not 60 cm! An extra 4 months were added to the project as time was taken to pat down the beams until they were at the appropriate height.

        [2] Problems continue into May of 2013, when the two steel moving platforms arrive from a Spanish company show serious flaws. Despite these defects, contractual agreements require the project to continue, still using the same 250-ton beams.

        [3] By April of that year the tragedies continue when cracks are found on the surface and need to be reinforced.

        [4] As the summer continues weaknesses are found in the infrastructure and parts of the concrete bow down underneath the bridge; time is taken to apply necessary reinforcements. By August Pihl and S?n, the main contractors of the project declare their bankruptcy and all work stops on the bridge for 9 months, until the city of Copenhagen takes over the project. This is the point where it begins to sound like a cruel joke, Pihl and S?n is an international contracting group in business for over 100 years, and it is during this already endless project that they go out of business.

        [5] By December a storm hits Copenhagen, and due to improper storage a machine room below the bridge floods and two motors become damaged beyond repair. All the while, as delays are added the costs only rise on this project.

        [6] As spring begins in 2014 fears grow that even more reinforcements are needed! Many tests are done, and it turns out the be a false alarm, however, the delays still pile up. Work continues, and a new polish contracting group takes over the project. No drastic delays occur on the bridge until August of 2015

        [7], when one of the draw-wire systems that pulls the movable platform back has snapped...delays carry on. The most recent problem encountered was discovered in November of 2015

        [8], when one boogie-system, the set of wheels that roll the moving platforms back and forth, was discovered to be too weak. A whole new system needed to be designed, created, and installed, which was finished in April 2016. A whole set of new problems however is exacerbated by the initial plans

        [9], in May of 2016 it was discovered that the change of warm air combined with the still-cold harbor water was causing the bridge to bend and skew. The fact that the bridge may squirm was taken into the design, however, not when the temperature change is so drastic between warm air to cold water... which is strange because that is basically every spring in Copenhagen for countless millenia.



        All these delays have come at a huge cost, which sets in place the next set of problems, who is going to pay? It’s now highly debated between Copenhagen and Pihl and S?n contractors, as the bridge was supposed to cost 200 million kr. but after constant delays and mishaps has now risen to 300 million kr., and the cost of Copenhagen’s share has already tripled.

        With all that said, the light at the tunnel has been reached. The bridge finally opened to the public on 07 July 2016 and the official opening is scheduled for 19 August 2016.

        The new boogie system has been installed and the final tests and fine tuning of the bridge are done.

        Many say that Inderhavnsbroen was hit by Murphy’s Law, where anything that could go wrong has. This whole process just goes to show that sometimes you need to stick with what you know works, like the two bridges that have been in place for nearly 100 years across the harbor already. Or just ask the thousands of daily commuters in Copenhagen that longed for the day the bridge would open.

        Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge - Copenhagen Inderhavnsbro - Inner Harbour Bridge - Copenhagen

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