The LM Project by Steven Holl



Steven Holl Architects have won a competition to design a new harbour entrance in Copenhagen, Denmark.


Holl's winning proposal for The LM Project involves building an office tower on either side of the harbour, linked by a 65m high public walkway.


The walkway consists of two bridges meeting at an angle, "joining like a handshake over the harbor".


The following is from Steven Holl Architects:


Steven Holl Architects Wins Copenhagen LM Competition by Unanimous Decision.

New Gateway for Copenhagen Harbor Formed by Two Towers Connected By ‘Handshake’ of Public Bridges.


Copenhagen, Denmark: Friday 31st October, 2008 It was announced today at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark that Steven Holl Architects has won the international design competition “The LM Project”. With a program that connects office towers and civic spaces with a public walkway 65 meters above the harbor, the new design is intended to form an iconic landmark for Copenhagen’s waterfront. The competition was organized by CPH City and Port Development and ATP Ejendomme; the CEO’s for both companies were among the jury members selecting the winner. The Chairman of the Jury is administrative director of the development company City / Harbor and Copenhagen’s former mayor Jens Karmer Mikkelsen.

Mr. Mikkelsen said “The project combines the esthetical, the functional and the business minded. This winning proposal is architecture in high, high class.” The current mayor of Copenhagen, Ritt Bjerregaard, praised the design, saying “With the winning project, we get a great high-rise building, which will bind the city better together and function as a landmark in the harbor.”

Steven Holl Architects’ design for the dramatic new harbor entrance to the great city of Copenhagen is based on a concept of two towers carrying two bridges at two orientations all connecting back to the unique aspects of the site’s history. The Langenlinie site, a berth for ocean ships for decades, is expressed in the Langenlinie tower with geometry taken from the site’s shape. A prow-like public deck thrusts out to the sea horizon. This deck is the level of public entry to the bridge elevators and has public amenities such as cafes and galleries. It can be reached by a wide public stair as well as escalators. The Marmormolen tower connects back to the City with a main terrace that thrusts out towards the city horizon shaped by a public auditorium below. It can also be reached by escalators and is adjacent to the public bridge elevator lobby.

Each tower carries its own cable-stay bridge that is a public passageway between the two piers. Due to the site geometry, these bridges meet at an angle, joining like a handshake over the harbor. The soffits below the bridges and under the cantilevers pick up the bright colors of the harbor; container orange on the undersides of the Langenlinie, bright yellow on the undersides of the Marmormolen. At night the uplights washing the colored aluminum reflect like paintings in the water.

Regarding the winning design proposal, the competition Jury cited the following: ‘The jury has unanimously decided to nominate Steven Holl Architects entry as the winner of the competition. The reason being the special importance placed on creating two buildings each adapted to the site, and the overall idea of how to connect these buildings and ensure that they form a whole across the harbor basin. The project involves a sense of place which is essential for a project on this prominent site.”

The project utilizes a variety of progressive sustainable solutions to ensure this important international landmark is rooted in Denmark’s identity as one of the world leaders in alternative energy. Both towers have high performance glass curtainwalls with a veil of solar screen made of photovoltaics; collecting the sun’s energy while shading. They are connected to a seawater heating/cooling system with radiant heating in the floor slabs and radiant cooling in the ceiling. Natural ventilation is provided on every floor with windows opening at the floor level and ceiling level for maximum air circulation. Optimum natural light is provided to all offices due to the reflective light performance of the screens. Wind turbines line the top of the pedestrian bridge roof; providing all electricity for lighting the public spaces. Due to wind power, this inviting harbor front gateway is always glowing.

Posted on Friday November 7th 2008 at 2:22 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • quik

    might turn out good if they manage to keep the bridge public

  • Farris

    Really great, Holl has done another masterpiece!

  • rodger

    nice idea for the buildings, but the bridge concept is flawed from any practical point of view. it has little function attached to it, other than the symbolic, and it will always read as that.

  • bence

    far too big for a beautiful city like copenhagen. the idea of two buildings with/as a bridge is nice, but not in this size, i think…

  • MR

    could get gusty up there.. in a harbour with little shelter and between two tall buildings that might act as wind funnels..

  • i agree with bence. The opera house there is big too, but its cantilever roof keeps things horizontal and references the flatness of the rest of the city. I feel like Holl’s building will feel awkward.

  • ben

    The six proposals…

  • ben
  • Sullka

    I agree is way to big, I like the concept, but maybe it will downsize eventually, right now it looks just like 2 giant lego block fighting with swords, not really a “handshake”.

    The idea of the podium resembling a boat, either entering or leaving the harbor is great, but it needs refining, I don’t think the answer is just to start rotating giant square blocks, a more “curvy sea-like” figure would be better.

  • Joe

    Looks neat.. but a part of me doesn’t believe it’s going up like they show it now. Its size would definitely redefine the image of the whole area… doesn’t really blend in. I won’t necessarily say that’s a bad thing though, but it would be a lot to get used to. Is the cost worth the results and what it will give to the public? That’s what they should be asking.

  • atomant

    leave the bridges to calatrava please!

  • mvb

    I think the towers are interesting but the bridges are othopedic and unnecessary to create an entrance.

  • scarpasez

    …wait…when did Holl intern at OMA?

  • Paul. Yorkshire

    Its unappealing for the public to have to go through the centre of the towers to get to the ‘public bridge’, the route should be key and be visable from the outside of the towers.

  • Bruno

    good concept as a public circulation and bridge, but no context, repeatitive BAD design, copy’npaste “LINKED HYBRID”.

  • yimyim

    looks like a nice exercise in public and private, and accessability. I’m not going to comment on the language…
    and enough comparisons with OMA- while they are influential, they are not the only architects to do anything in the world…

  • mias
  • mous

    You speak the truth.
    I am really getting tired these completely out of scale urban projects.

  • Joe

    I think its neat. strange… but I had a dream about this 4 years ago

  • sk

    Looks good on paper, but what use will the bridge have? too much symbolism for my taste, can’t see the practical use of this. Why build tall buildings in Copenhagen, such a beutifull city with mainly lowrise building?

  • m

    JOE, we all dreamed up this back in school.

    abt the oma comparison, it’s not oma creates any interesting work of late.

    my 2 cents: for a public bridge, how r they gonna haul up large quantities of ppl in lifts in the bldg to pass the bridge? there’ll be qeues. but then if ppl hv to wait long jst to go to the bridge, theyr gonna abandon the bridge and find some other links

  • out of scale, out of proportion.
    Completly out of notion.

  • John

    Highrise buildings in Copenhagen is not the problem. The problem is the kind of highrisers being proposed, they are always to massive in volume and without the grace and elegance of the old towers of Copenhagen (with some exceptions: the Krøyers plads project, BIG’s axeltorv libary tower and a few others).
    It is far from impossible to build elegant modern towers… Why is it not happening?
    Luckily most people in Copenhagen (and Denmark) are conservative when it comes to buildings over 6-8 floors – This will never be build!

  • Ben

    I miss the days that he made intimate and honest architecture … experimenting with materials and not with big bigger biggest …
    who’s going to use that bridge anyway?
    no Denmark … you’re not building your own ‘Eiffel-tower’ by doing this …

  • chris

    isn’t fuck the street the danish motto.

  • berk

    To be honest.I think the bridge is the most important part of this project(Rly? Ye rly!) But the bridge looks too pale and ordinary.