8 House by BIG


8 House by BIG

Danish architects BIG have completed their 8 House residential project with a figure-of-eight plan in Copenhagen.

8 House by Big

The building features a continuous cycle path and pedestrian walkway, winding up to the tenth floor and back down to ground level, and providing access to all residences.

8 House by BIG

The structure wraps around two courtyards connected by a tunnel through the central cross, which houses communal facilities.

8 House by BIG

Its height is lower on the south-west corner and higher at the north-east side to make best use of daylight.

8 House by BIG

See our earlier story about the project's green roofs here.

8 House by BIG

See all our stories about BIG »

8 House by BIG

Photographs are by Jens Lind unless stated otherwise.

8 House by BIG

The text that follows is from the architects:


Celebrating its third project with the same development team in the maturing neighborhood of Orestad, the construction of the 61,000 m2 8 House has come to an end, allowing people to bike all the way from the street up to its 10th level penthouses alongside terraced gardens where the first residents have already moved in.

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

The bowtie-shaped 61,000 m2 mixed-use building of three different types of residential housing and 10,000 m2 of retail and offices comprises Denmark’s largest private development ever undertaken.

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

Commissioned by St. Frederikslund and Per Hopfner in 2006, the 8 House sits on the outer edge of the city as the southern most outpost of Orestad.

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

Rather than a traditional block, the 8 House stacks all ingredients of a lively urban neighborhood into horizontal layers of typologies connected by a continuous promenade and cycling path up to the 10th floor creating a three-dimensional urban neighborhood where suburban life merges with the energy of a big city, where business and housing co-exist.

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

“We have now completed three remarkable buildings in Orestad, the VM Houses, The Mountain and finally the 8 House - which is the sole result of a good and constructive collaboration with talented young architects who had a good understanding for the economical aspects,” Per Hopfner, Hopfner Partners

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

The 8 House creates two intimate interior courtyards, separated by the centre of the cross which houses 500 m2 of communal facilities available for all residents.

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

At the very same spot, the building is penetrated by a 9 meter wide passage that allows people to easily move from the park area on its western edge to the water filled canals to the east. Instead of dividing the different functions of the building - for both habitation and trade - into separate blocks, the various functions have been spread out horizontally.

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

“The apartments are placed at the top while the commercial programme unfolds at the base of the building.

8 House by BIG

Above photograph is by Ty Stange

As a result, the different horizontal layers have achieved a quality of their own: the apartments benefit from the view, sunlight and fresh air, while the office leases merge with life on the street.

8 House by BIG

This is emphasized by the shape of 8 House which is literally hoisted up in the Northeast corner and pushed down at the Southwest corner, allowing light and air to enter the southern courtyard,” Thomas Christoffersen, Partner in Charge, 8 House, BIG

8 House by BIG

A continuous public path stretches from street level to the penthouses and allows people to bike all the way from the ground floor to the top, moving alongside townhouses with gardens, winding through an urban perimeter block.

8 House by BIG

Two sloping green roofs totaling 1,700 m2 are strategically placed to reduce the urban heat island effect as well as providing the visual identity to the project and tying it back to the adjacent farmlands towards the south.

8 House by Big

“8 House is a three-dimensional neighborhood rather than an architectural object.

8 House by BIG

An alley of 150 rowhouses stretches through the entire block and twists all the way from street level to the top and down again.

8 House by Big

Where social life, the spontaneous encounter and neighbor interaction traditionally is restricted to the ground level, the 8 House allows it to expand all the way to the top,” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG

8 House by Big

The 8 House uses size to its advantage by creating immense differences in height thereby creating a unique sense of community with small gardens and pathways that remind you of the intimacy of an Italian hill town.

8 House by BIG

With spectacular views towards the Copenhagen Canal and Kalvebod Faelled’s protected open spaces, 8 House provides residences to people in all of life’s stages through its 476 housing units, including apartments of varied sizes, penthouses and townhouses as well as office spaces to the city’s business and trade in one single building.

8 House by Big

“8 House is our second realized example of architectural alchemy - the idea that by mixing traditional ingredients, retail, row- houses and apartments in untraditional ways - you create added value if not gold.

8 House by Big

The mix allows the individual activities to find their way to the most ideal location within the common framework - the retail facing street, the offices towards northern light and the residences with sun and views to the open spaces.

8 House by Big

8 House is a perimeter block that morphs into a knot, twisting and turning to maximize the life quality of its many inhabitants,” Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG

8 House by Big

8 House by Big

8 House by Big

8 House by Big

8 House by Big

8 House by Big

SIZE 61,000 M2, 476 RESIDENCES
COST EUR 92,000,000

Partner-In-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen Project Leader: Ole Elkjaer-Larsen, Henrick Poulsen Project Manager: Finn Norkjaer, Henrik Lund

Team: Dennis Rasmussen, Rune Hansen, Agustin Perez Torres, Annette Jensen, Carolien Schippers, Caroline Vogelius Wiener, Claus Tversted, David Duffus, Hans Larsen, Jan Magasanik, Anders Nissen, Christian Alvarez Gomez, Hjalti Gestsson, Johan Cool, James Duggan Schrader, Jakob Lange, Kirstine Ragnhild, Jakob Monefeldt, Jeppe Marling Kiib, Joost Van Nes, Kasia Brzusnian, Kasper Broendum Larsen, Louise Heboell, Maria Sole Bravo, Ole Nannberg, Pablo Labra, Pernille Uglvig Jessen, Peter Rieff, Peter Voigt Albertsen, Peter Larsson, Rasmus Kragh Bjerregaard, Richard Howis, Soeren Lambertsen, Eduardo Perez, Ondrej Tichy, Sara Sosio, Karsten Hammer Hansen, Christer Nesvik, Soeren Peter Kristensen, Lacin Karaoz, Marcello Cova, Luis Felipe González Delgado, Janghee Yoo, SunMing Lee

See also:


8 House
by BIG
Danish Pavilion at
Shanghai Expo 2010 by BIG
Mountain Dwellings
by BIG

Posted on Friday October 22nd 2010 at 6:44 pm by Laura Chan. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • lye

    no picture for the cycling route? or i missed it?

  • fka

    Good to see BIG make it to this point. Just to show, ideas still do matter in architecture, especially housing!

  • Mert Yilmaz

    Looks like a Las Vegas resort…

  • RLKC

    i realy appreciate what BIG is doing with the 8 house: buildings with a relevance. something that is lacking in current architecture.

  • sc hu yl er

    I don't believe there is a bicycle path in the finished work. And thank God, as that would be a near impossible climb and a horrifying descent.

  • Link to the last conference (video) give by bjarke ingels in madrid @ etsam http://www.mstrpln.mx/blog/index.php/2010/10/10/b

    also in vimeo http://vimeo.com/15699713

  • bcndc

    Bjarke Ingels Group has the best URL ever: http://www.big.dk

  • Mos

    The design is really not interesting…..

  • OPA

    for me the worst building made by big. comparing with "wm" housing or mountain dwelling this one seems to be quite behind the boundary of commercial architecture..

    • feri

      yes I also like BIG. I like the website, the ideas, the concepts behind the projects, but I think that they have a log way to go until those great concepts will loke as near as good after they are built. For exemple the danish pavilion, looked great on papar but the real thing was a dissapointment to me. And i think that this is a trend in their projects. They tend to lose those precios little details after they are realised.

  • felix

    The bicycle path is the black and white paving, it doesn’t go up the building, only the pedestrian path does.

    I had many points written out and then this site lost them, so in summary I don’t like this. Very commercial as said above. Bad landscaping in inner courtyard. Balconies and extruded volumes making an attempt at humanising it just add insult to injury.

  • james

    Soulless hyper-modernism.

    There is no connotation of individuality.

    There is no connotation of domestic uniqueness.

    There is no connotation of regional culture.

    There is no romance.

    It's a seductive three dimensional diagram designed to be inhabited by robots. If Lebanon, Beijing, Rio, and Warsaw are lucky, BIG will give them their own versions that nobody will be able to distinguish.

    • I agree James, but… I am so in favour of using daylight to its full potential that I love the design. Or rather, like it – love is too strong a word. Wih regards to the 'regional culture' aspect – it could be that this design becomes iconic of Denmark if the copies are not built in other major cities as you suggested might happen.
      It may become the optimal structure in future and all new apartment building will look like this. Perish the thought.

  • eml

    is the "idea" of it that it forms an 8? slightly stupid according to me. And what is the unconventional part of it? that the roof is sloping? I only see a mediocre project done for the interest of the developer that does not in any way interact with the city.

  • Miguel

    It happens something similar as in Koolhaas CCTV. The main argument in the project seems to be how to include the public circulation (or the old LCorb. "promenade") into the building. But in both cases this argument seems to fail. In the CCTV you are not able to take this path because it has become private after spending millions of € in its super-expensive structure. And in BIG's proporsal it happens the same; the slope is too high to be walked, and I don´t understand how to access it with your bike. That means that the proposal follows an argument that had ceased to exit – that means FAILURE or PURE MERCHANDISING.

  • Lilja

    check out Bjarke Ingels breaf presentation of the 8 house. it makes sense :)
    part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8ONVseGL2E
    part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In9tU2VLbLI

  • Fred

    An intense rationalisation phase killed the interesting parts of this one (the initial renderings and models have now, within the last week, been removed from BIG´s website) – for instance, what happned to the shape of the balconies – http://a.imageshack.us/img831/9695/big1.png and http://a.imageshack.us/img267/7449/big2.png ?

    • rasmus

      As far as i know, they were changed by Big for aestetical and functionel reasons. Not because of any economic rationalisation.

  • christian

    Of course it's commercial but It also looks like a desirable place to live, which is not a bad thing, a lot of developers should take note.

  • Shane

    Exciting, Clean cut and the built is as promising!

  • Bopp

    Amazing photo's of the exterior and interior, but I've heard different of the actual interior quality… (from trustworthy sources hehe)

  • Doug C

    An excellent commercial job. Fulfills the requirements perfectly and looks like a decent place to live. Soulless? Individuality and uniqueness are what the residents are supposed to bring to the interiors. It's not in the budget for the exterior.

  • edward

    Fantastic! Contemporary architecture at its best.

  • Towncat

    Right. Those aluminium-clad boxes with some scattered plants scream "italian hill town" like nothing else… No need to visit Siena anymore.
    Why not at least be honest and admit that this is what it is ?

  • jack

    It looks okay and some of the features are quite beautiful (the 'yellowish' interior cladding/tunnel) however this idea has been tried since the sixties. Saying it brings communities together doesn't mean it will. In ten to twenty years it will be another tower block where the main trade will be in drugs and spray cans. I wouldn't fancy walking through the tunnel after dark in a few years. It happened in Britain and all over Europe, from brutalism to Le Corbusier. Grand community spaces that have become feared by all, even the police.
    Don't get me wrong, I like drugs and spray cans, I just don't like being shot, stabbed and raped.

  • Tomas Wikström

    For all of you who understand Swedish: http://www.sydsvenskan.se/bostad/article888602/Li
    In this review by the Housing group of Sydsvenskan (daily paper), we appreciate BIG's ambitious experimental attitude – too rare in contexts of housing. The way this block opens up towards the open landscape is extraordinary. However, we also note the references to grand schemes like those of Corbusier and related ideas like lifting up streets from the ground level, ideas that have proved to be failures. What really sinks the project in our eyes is the sloppy design of the flats we had the opportunity to visit. E.g. extremely harsh and windy conditions – and no entry hall. Lovely in summer, though!

  • tbg

    This project really belongs to an earlier, pre-financial crisis age. Not many people are buying the flats.

  • agagnu

    So much has been done, researched and written about designing defensible spaces, learning or not learning from Corbusier’s HABITAT.