Catalyst architecture3



Producer: Superfleks



SUPERKILEN – Beyond Being Nice

Superkilen is Copenhagen’s new international urban space. It encompasses the landscaping of a previous freight railroad area on Outer Nørrebro. The urban furniture comprises 100 different colorful objects: benches, slides, play sculptures, boxing rings, sound systems, signs and symbols, well covers, fountains, lamps, etc. These items originate from more than 50 different countries; each has a story and a relation to the district’s diverse population. The objects create mental connections to places outside Denmark and together they re-tell the story of Nørrebro in a new, socially inclusive way.

A bicycle lane and a pedestrian path run through the middle of the area, connecting and linking poorer Nørrebro with the more affluent northern and western districts of the city. The framework of the paths and the design of Superkilen contrast with each other in such a way that a truly visual and aesthetic drama arises as one moves through the area on foot or by bicycle.

While the rail line previously acted as a barrier in the city, Superkilen opens the city socially and culturally. The former ‘back sides’ of buildings have been turned into ‘front sides’ and the design enhances the diversity of urban life. Here, numerous commuters on bicycles meet local inhabitants – and local residents meet one another. The design appeals to the senses, evokes memories, and encourages reflection: Architect Bjarke Ingels (BIG) himself uses the concept ’inclusivism’ to describe the architectural project Superkilen. The many different objects represent places outside Copenhagen. Each one creates mental connections and narratives. Around them, you can linger in your own thoughts and remember. Together, they articulate Nørrebro anew. Superkilen performs. It talks to the senses, evokes memories and reflection, as it invites users into a direct, bodily involvement.



Superkilen, Nørrebro, Copenhagen

Area: 27,000 m2/ 750 meter long public square

Contains: Bicycle lane, series of urban spaces, picnic areas, outdoor fitness space, playgrounds, concert areas, chess tables, fountains, space for ball games, etc.

Design: Architectural firm BIG, landscape architects Topotek1, the artist group SUPERFLEX in collaboration with Lemming Eriksson, Help PR & Communication

Client: The Municipality of Copenhagen with financial support from Realdania

Inauguration: Officially inaugurated June 22nd 2012

Cost: 59 million DKK/ 8 million EUR/ 10 million USD