Sunday, May 31, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

I got this award from Joo at Daily haiku. And a thousand thanks to her. I'm deebly honoured!

The rules for sharing this award are different than other awards because instead of just passing it on to just anyone, you are supposed to pass it on to blogs you've recently discovered.

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. You can also make a comment about the person who gave the award to you by asking your readers to stop by their blog, pay them a visit, leave a comment, or even 'follow' their blog if they feel led to.

2) Pass the award on to other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Contact these bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. Just go to their site and leave a comment to one of their posts telling them you have an award for them and to please come by your blog to get it. Just a little note: You pick the number of blogs to pass the award to, just give it to those you have recently discovered.

These are my recently discovered blogs:

Tamarindo, Costa Rica Daily Photo
Trojan's Corner
My India
Dusty Lens - North Metro and Beyond
Bath Daily Photo Blog


Just to the south of Copenhagen stands this power plant. Avedøre Power Plant was built in two stages, Avedøre 1 in 1990 and Avedøre 2 in 2001. Avedøre 1 is a coal fired power plant while Avedøre 2 can burn most fuels; wood pellets, oil, natural gas and straw. Total output is 810MW of electricity, which is enough to give power to 1.3 mio. households, and 900MW of heating for 200.000 households.

The smoke is cleaned for NOx, SOx and ash so it's as clean as it can be. It's done by adding ammonia, water and lime to the smoke and sending it through filters. The end result is plaster that is sold to construction companies.

The power plant is operated by the Danish company DONG Energy, that has a virtual monopoly on power generating in Denmark.

Right next to this power plant DONG has placed a row of wind power generators (wind turbines for short). By 2011 20 pct. of the energy in Denmark will be from renewable energy sources like wind and bio fuels according to the government's plans.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A study in white

Many of the residences in Tuborg Harbour is kept in white and squares, and most are with a view over Øresund, the strait separating Denmark from Sweden. Although not finished yet, the area certainly is shaping up.

One of the buildings under construction looks like an office building though I'm not sure it is. This one is kept in a light aqua marine with wave shaped panels on the side.

Tomorrows building is a big one that can be seen for miles around.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A spot of green

Across the canal from Saxo Bank and Horten is a new mall called Waterfront. Not the biggest one in town this one sports 35 shops and cafés on a total of 32.000 sq meters.

What stroke me, as I passed it (and no, I haven't been inside, malls are not my thing) is the facade of this black square building. At a distance it looks like it got green spots all over, but in reality it's holes in the black steel with a green lining underneath that creates this effect. A nice touch, but I sure hope that they have thought about corrosion and drainage with all these holes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Under construction

Right next to the harlequin building of yesterday another strange building is taking form. This will be the new domicile of the law firm Horten. Even though it wasn't finished when I saw it last, this is another head turner in the making. The 3D-facade have a purpose; the building is closed to the south to prevent too much heat through the windows and the "waves" will create shadows.

Inside ventilation systems will make sure that a nice working temperature will be held summer and winter (if they work, that is) with a much lower energy consumption than is the norm. The facade is made of a sandwich of two layers of fiber glass with foam in the middle, something that has never been done before in a building. It also means that there's no heavy steel frame work.

I'm not sure if I like this building or not, but as with many other new buildings given time I might like it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


This strange building is the HQ of Saxo Bank, an online bank that has had some success in the past couple of years. This building is all angles and glass mixed with white panels. It can be argued that it's an acquired taste, but it sure do turn heads even in this area.

Tomorrow I'll show you some photos of the building next door to this one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is Tuborg a harbour?

In the old days Denmark had a lot of competing breweries. Two of the biggest were Carlsberg and Tuborg. Those two merged in 1970, but Tuborg was still brewed at Tuborg Harbour in Hellerup to the north of Copenhagen. By 1996 this site was finally closed down and the production of Tuborg was moved to Fredericia. Left was an area open to develop into new office buildings and residents.

The club house and restaurant in the foreground

The developing is ongoing, but the area is shaping up to be rather nice. In its center is the marina, where the Royal Danish Yacht Club got a restaurant and its HQ. Around the marina are mainly new residences and some office blocks, and scattered around are contemporary art, mainly sculptures.

The sphere to the right is made by the
artist Jens-Flemming Sørensen and is
one of the many by him in Tuborg Harbour.

I'm not sure who the artist of
this thin lady is. Any guess?

Tomorrow I'll show you a really strange kind of bank in this area.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Not Park Güell, nor by Gaudi

A couple of hundred meters from my home a play ground outside a school was renovated 4 years ago. The result is this; some very strange figures inspired (I think) by Antoni Gaudi, Spanish architect and artist who made a lot of very strange buildings in Barcelona, among them the Cathedral La Sagrada Familia and the Park Güell. Who the artist is for this play ground, I haven't been able to find out, but as Gaudi died in 1926 it wasn't him:-)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New Amsterdam?

Across from Sømærk from yesterday a whole new kind of city is developing, a city of canals and houses in different shapes, colours and sizes, almost like a city that has developed over time. Crisscrossing the city is a number of canals, so that the whole city looks more akin to Begijnhof in Amsterdam or maybe a modern version of Venice (without all the lovely art and architecture) than a new part of Copenhagen.

With more than 1.000 apartments this will be a sizeable neighbourhood when finished in the next year or so. In the center of the blocks are nice courtyards with greenery, playgrounds and benches for the residents.

When living on the first floors you'll have your very own platform for your boat or to swim from. This place got a lot of charm. Because all the buildings in the blocks are different, it feels like a "normal" city, built over time and well developed. The canals and the small boats there, the courtyards, the big open harbour, they all add to the charm of this area.

Again it's missing out on shops and cafés but here there´s room for them, as opposed to Ørestaden. I counted one supermarket opened and one pizzeria on its way, but there are some empty shops. Hopefully they'll be opened when all the blocks are finished.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

City on the water

On Teglholmen in the South Harbour of Copenhagen, formerly an industrial area, a lot of new houses and offices have been build. Most of these are ordinary; lots of glass, steel and concrete and very little charm. One exception to this is Sømærk (literally beacon) and the name is well chosen; it stands in, or on, the water like a beacon. To live here, one should be willing to live real close to the water. You can have your own boat moored underneath your house, which I think is really neat. Actually you can fish from your own kitchen too, if you're not too choosy about what you catch. The building itself is kept in black except the red around the entrances and it's a bit too square to my taste.

The common house is kept by itself at the end of the blocks and all the cars are underground, so only the bicycles (and the boats) are visible.

The 120 apartments are both owner occupied and for rent. The rent is about 1.200 Euro for the smallest apartment (90 sq. meters), so I guess you pay for the location.

Tomorrow I won't go far and even then it'll be like I've moved to Amsterdam, or maybe a modern version of Venice.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Isn't Metropolis in USA?

To answer the question in the headline, it might be a city in Illinois, but Copenhagen has a building called Metropolis. This one is named, not after the city of Superman, but the movie Metropolis from 1927 by Fritz Lang. A very futuristic looking building this 40 m high block of apartments is located on its own little peninsula in the old harbour area of Sluseholmen in the South of Copenhagen.

This blue fantasy houses 81 apartments with the penthouse apartments being the largest with 214 sq. meters. Originally it was planned to be 60 m high but a nearby power plant got in the way of this plan. The designers were afraid that smoke from the chimneys would be a problem for the penthouses and the roof gardens if the wind was "right", so they cut 20 m off the plans, but readied the building so it can be enlarged when the power plant closes down in a few years. it was finished in 2008 and cost a total of 15 million Euros.

The designers, Future Systems from UK, have also designed the Selfridges in Birmingham.

In my eyes this is a building that rise above the rest. Pleasing for the eye, but hard on the bank account!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Noblesse Oblige Award

I'm deebly honored and not just a little humbled to receive the Noblesse Oblige Award from Janine from Sniffles and Smiles. Janine is a very accomplished and creative writer in the blog-universe, and it's always a great treat to read her posts and her comments. But beware when you read them, as there's an acute danger of being inspired, of becoming wiser and of being moved! A thousand thanks to Janine for this award and for her way of being a blogger. Don't ever change!

Below I've posted the details of the award:

Details of Noblesse Oblige Award

The recipient of this award is recognized for the following:
  • The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervade amongst different cultures and beliefs
  • Their Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage, and offers solutions
  • There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social, Political, Economic, the Arts, Cultures, Sciences and Beliefs
  • The Blog is refreshing and creative
  • The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following:

  • Create a post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award
  • The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post
  • Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or more older posts as support
  • The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions- Blogger must display the Award at any location at their Blog.


In accordance with the conditions I've got to tell, what I've achieved so far. Well, that is not easy as I'm not blogging to achieve anything, except maybe to share my love for photography with kindred spirits.

My blogging started six months ago, when I started writing in Danish, after my sister Asta (Hyperenergy and other obstacles and All I Need Is A Good Book) had inspired and encouraged me to start. It wasn't until March that I switched to English, mostly to try to reach a broader audience. Having posted my post number 100 not too long ago, my goal for the nearest future is to keep posting daily within my chosen themes for the next year. If I accomplish that, I think I've really reached a personal goal.

I hope too that I can inspire others to blog and share their photos, feelings, great stories or opinion about anything that is close to their heart. That, I think, would be the greatest possible achievement!

A Black Diamond

After yesterdays gray it's now time for something black. Nicknamed The Black Diamond this building is an annex of the Danish Royal Library (should have been named the National Library, I sincerely doubt that the Queen use this one as her private library). When the Royal Library began to run out of space in the mid 1990's this building was designed as an annex to the main building from 1906. It stood ready in 1999 and was a cube of black marble and glass with a view to the harbour with three bridges to connect it to the old building. The building houses a concert hall and a café beside the library, and is used for exhibitions as well.

The Royal Library need this extra space and the four other locations to store everything published in Denmark since the 17th Century and much from before that. It's actually the law in Denmark, that when you print a book, a magazine or a newspaper, a copy should be sent to this library. Today even web pages in Danish are stored. A total of 725.000 books do take up some space. And this is not just a closed library for the selected few; anyone over the age of 18 can get a library card, but of course access is restricted for the oldest books and prints.

The old main building

This free access has its drawbacks, as a number of the rare books have been stolen over time and sold to collectors. The biggest of these thefts involved 1.600 books with a value of $50 million that disappeared between 1968 and 1978. The theft was solved in 2003 after the thief, a department head at the library, died and his family tried to sell off the remaining books. About 1.500 of the books was recovered and the family was sentenced to 18 months to 3 years of prison.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Different Shades of Grey

I pass this building nearly every day and each time I think: Why would anyone want to build a building in expensive grey stones on a grey pavement and a grey sidewalk and in a country where low grey clouds are the norm half the year? I just don't get it! I'm afraid that I'll walk right into it one day on a rainy day, not noticing it. The only colour is the minimarket on the corner, and that is maybe a bit too much colour:-)

The building is a new social housing in Valby called Valby Have (Valby Garden). Only the front building is grey. Behind it are a number of terraced houses in yellow brick with nice small gardens and a little wooden fence. Really nice, but with a neighbour like the grey building, I would think twice before moving here!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Living in a beer barrel

The silo seen from Carlsberg Brewery

In Valby in Copenhagen there's has been brewed beer for 150 years at Carlsberg Brewery. That production have stopped and moved out of town and out of country, leaving behind some prime real estate ready to be explored. But what to do when you happen to have a silo 85.5 metres high in the middle of a city? The answer to Carlsberg was obvious; convert it to apartments. The silo, build in 1957 by Kongens Bryghus (the King's Brewery) was used to store malt, but it was only used for a few years and stood empty until its conversion in 1997. Its 107 cooperative apartments on 21 storeys is a popular and expensive place to live. And the view from the top is magnificent.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Closed after 5 o'clock

The Wharf Bridge with
Kalvebod Brygge in the background

Yesterday I told you a little about Islands Brygge (Iceland's Wharf). On the opposite of the harbour is Kalvebod Brygge (Kalvebod Wharf). Islands Brygge is bursting with life due to the many residents in that area, but its neighbour is virtually deserted after 5 o'clock. Why?


On Kalvebod Brygge there's mainly office blocks and two hotels plus a youth hostel plus a mall. Only now are the first apartment blocks being finished on the Southern end of the wharf. The companies have paid dearly to have a headquarter with a view, but when they close down in the afternoon, all the clerks go home - and home is not in this area.

The new apartments
Cube of glass

So the result is a very quiet place after closing hours. It doesn't help that all the boats and ships have been moved to other parts of the harbour, so the wharfs are totally without anything maritime. Even house boats have been expelled out of this harbour.