Architects rethink the parking structure in Copenhagen, with rooftop playground, fitness amenities, and living wall

The Park'n'Play will double as a neighborhood attraction.

August 07, 2014 |
Renderings courtesy of Jaja Architects

Metro areas around the world are trying to solve the problem of ever-increasing population density, and Copenhagen is no exception. Wired reports that the city expects to have 100,000 new inhabitants by 2025. Two compact living centers are being developed to address the issue: the Orestad and Nordhavn districts. 

Built from shipping docks no longer in use, the Nordhavn district is meant to accommodate 40,000 people. Parks, apartments, and offices are in the works, as is a unique parking structure that will double as a neighborhood attraction. Designed by Jaja Architects, the parking structure will feature a rooftop playground, called Park'n'Play, and garden façade. 

“One of the design challenges was how to make people aware that something is happening on the rooftop,” Kathrin Susanna Gimmel, a partner at Jaja Architects, told Wired. “How do you bring them up there, since the activity on the ground floor and the top floor are not connected?” 

To solve this problem, the firm incorporated exterior, snaking staircases around the building that lead up to the roof. The stairs themselves are part of the design and have another function: fitness. Copenhagen architects noticed long ago that city residents used parking garages to exercise, as their slanted structure provided a rare incline in the flat city. Jaja built on this idea and incorporated clocks in the stairs so that people can time themselves, as well as painted graphics that inform Crossfit-like workouts. 

The garden façade will incorporate different types of greenery on the different faces of the garage, and the greenery will climb from plant boxes to the roof over the course of a few years. 

Renderings courtesy of Jaja Architects
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