Eclectic Equality? – Superkilen Project, Copenhagen

A place where everyone can live together, or not? Good urban design, or just an enthusiastic, flat space filled with objects that will be unexperienced?

Architects Topotek 1, BIG and Superflex have put their heads together and conceived an enormous urban blanket of idealistic experience: a sport, recreation and meeting space for many widely diverse people living in a particular neighbourhood of Copenhagen, Denmark.

It certainly adds a burst of exciting energy to the neighbourhood, with its wild use of colour, line and randomly-placed artifacts  These objects are said (via Archdaily)  to have been selected by, also therefore representing, actual citizens living in the neighbourhood.

The urban intervention is split into three parts: the Red Square, the Black Square, and the Green Park.

Red Square – Superkilen. Superflex, Topotek & Big Architects

Black Park – Superkilen. Superflex, Topotek & Big Architects

Green Park – Superkilen. Superflex, Topotek & Big Architects

Spatial Experience

While the Green Park offers undulating and carved out spaces, the Black and Red Square look very flat (and possibly slightly hard?), with a few trees and electic items positioned along its linear spread. The 2D surface treatment and the planted objects, perhaps slightly superficially, create gathering and movement zones in the squares.

Eclectic Artifacts

The project superimposes many of these varying cultural objects throughout the squares. It must make for quite an intriguing beadwork of different shapes, colours, materials and typefaces spilled over these smooth ‘piazzas’.  It also seems to have quite a strong Islam element, perhaps indicative of the neighbourhood demographic.  I’m not sure if you’d agree, but to me the items shown in the published pictures a seem a little too apparent and, others a bit arbitrary.

Some items included in the project are:

  • Slide from Chernobyl
  • Swings from Iraq
  • Indian climbing ground
  • Thai boxing ring
  • Benches from Brazil and Turkey
  • UK bins
  • Moroccan Fountain
  • Japanese cherry trees
  • Chinese palm trees
  • Armenian & Bulgarian picnic tables
  • Norwegian bike rack
  • dentist neon sign from Qatar
  • American shower lamp
  • South African BBQs (!)

The creators do seems to be trying  very democratic, forward thinking-methods, but will these objects be enough to bring together all cultures to share their leisure time in the same space?

If it is possible, the Danish are sure to have an exciting prototype to teach the rest of the world. This project is definitely one to keep an eye on! :)

Images retrieved from Archdaily and the Superflex Website.

Superkilen Website

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