Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Twins

For the last couple of weeks I've taken you of a tour of the whole new part of the city of Copenhagen called Ørestad. But that isn't the only area where building is going on. All along the old harbour industry has stood aside for other purposes. At Islands Brygge (Iceland's Wharf) a number of the big industries have closed down and left behind some big buildings. Some of these have been torn down to make place for new buildings, while others have been rebuild for use as offices or residences. One of the most prominent of these last is the Gemini Residence. Formerly a couple of silos for soy bean seeds for Soyakagen, a factory making oil from soy beans and a factory known to be a bit volatile (it exploded in 1980), these silos have been totally converted into futuristic looking apartments.

The silos were constructed in 1963 and reconstructed in 2002-05 into 84 apartments along the outer walls, literally hanging the apartments on the outside of the walls. Inside the 43 m high silos are empty, only making way for the foyer, stairways and elevators.

The Bryggebro (The Wharf Bridge) leading to Gemini Residence and Islands Brygge was build in 2006 as a gangway and cycling bridge connecting Islands Brygge and Kalvebod Brygge. It was the first bridge to be built crossing the harbour in 50 years.

In the photo above you can see another of the converted silos in the centre, the Wennberg Silo. That one is also a residence now with 142 apartments. Actually this whole area is teeming with life. The many residents use the public open air harbour bath, the renovated park and the wharf as a place to stroll, have a drink or a snack or sunbathe in the summer. A couple of nice cafés add to the atmosphere of this place. It is quickly becoming one of the most popular areas to live in in Copenhagen. Tomorrow I'll tell you a little about its neighbouring area.