“Freestanding on the site, the building reads as a transparent, geometrical, glazed form which, resting only on a single point and a single line, floats as a visually light, crystalline structure above the plaza,” explained Partner Mr Kim Holst Jensen of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. He continued: “The building and the plaza are designed to interact with each other and with the surrounding city.”
In terms of both form and scale, the building is intermediate between the city and the harbour, and harmonises with neighbouring buildings. On the southern side, it rises with reference to the gable apex of the “Elephant House” and creates space for the main entrance. From the corner of Puggardsgade and Hambrosgade, the passage under the building allows a clear view towards Nykredit’s head office building and the harbor. The interior of the building complies with the demands for functionality, flexibility and efficiency. The typical floor plan is disposed in a Z-shape around two atria, ensuring that all workstations are well lit and enjoy a view. The disposition of the plan allows the accommodation of an open plan, separate offices or meeting rooms. The large three-dimensional steel structure constituting the building’s constructive system functions as an architectural element while at the same time freeing the building of columns, creating maximum flexibility in the office spaces.
The double-glazed façade has integrated solar screens and is decorated by a subtle silk screen frit design that mitigates solar ingress, reflects daylight, and gives the building a homogenous expression which enhances its sculptural form. “The architectural idea of The Crystal’s design is inspired by the fascinating shapes of nature, the premises and the potential of the site,” said Kim Holst Jensen. “The building distinguishes itself from traditional commercial buildings by being a precise sculpture rising elegantly from the plaza underneath.”
The design team has brought a holistic approach to the environmental strategy underlying the project. The scheme manages to combine a completely transparent office building with an exceptionally low energy-consumption at 70 kWh per sqm, which means that the building consumes 25 per cent less energy than the requirements of the existing energy legislation. The roof is covered with highly efficient photovoltaic panels generating 80,000 kWh per year. In addition, the triple-layered inner glass façade provides extremely effective thermal insulation, with a U-value of only 0.7 Wh per sqm.Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Landscape Architect: SLA
Project Year: 2010
Project Area: 6,850 sqm
Photographs: Adam Mørk