© Johan Fowelin . Published on June 13, 2008.
The VM Houses, shaped like a V and an M when seen from above, is the first residential project to be built in the new district of Copenhagen known as Ørestaden. The upcoming neighbourhood is connected to the center of the city by the new metro system.
© Tobias Toyberg . Published on June 13, 2008.
The manipulated perimeter block of the V building is clearly defined in its four corners, but opened internally and along the sides. The vis-à-vis with the neighbouring M house is eliminated by pushing the slab in its centre, ensuring diagonal views to the vast, open fields around. The building volume provides optimal air, daylight and views to all apartments with triangular-shaped balconies characterizing the south facing facade. All apartments have a double-height space to the north and wide panoramic views to the south.
© BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group . Published on June 13, 2008.
People can access the apartments from a central corridor that cuts through the building volume and opens up towards daylight and views at each end. The corridors create connections to elevators and staircases and function as a local community where people can meet spontaneously and children can play. The central hallway function as a public space, imitating random bullet holes penetrating the building.
A similar logic of the diagonal slab is used in the M building, although in this case it is broken down into smaller portions. Here, the typology of Le Corbusier’s Unitè d’habitation is reinterpreted and mutated: the central corridors are short and receive light from both ends. Individual terraces are all on the south facing side of the building, and the roof terrace can be reached from the central corridors.
The apartments are characterized by the interaction of mutually complementing rooms – with double-height studios near kitchens and living rooms, with large and open rooms that can be broken down into smaller ones and spatial attics which are naturally lit.
The VM Houses are made up of simple but exquisite materials with large glass facades framed by fancy wood. Floors are made up of solid oak wood, and dark, hard wood have been used for the balcony floors. Walls and ceilings appear with a somewhat raw finish in white concrete, and all internal stairs and handrails come in white painted steel. All the apartments’ external walls are made up of glass.
As the first residential complex in the area, it was important to create an inviting environment. To provide public space around the buildings, the V volume is raised on five metre high columns, opening up the courtyard to the park area on the south side while the facades are articulated with niches and angles, creating a series of informal meeting places.
One of the most important aspects of this housing scheme focuses on the development of diverse apartment typologies, ranging from single-floor plans to triplexes. The 114-unit V building is composed of 40 different apartment types, while the M building with its 95 units contains 40 typologies.