Fire Shelter 01 by
SHJWorks

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An open fire welcomes visitors to this egg-shaped hut built by Danish studio SHJWorks on the edge of a Copenhagen park (+ slideshow).

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

SHJWorks, led by architect Simon Hjermind Jensen, built Fire Shelter 01 on a patch of wild land called Sydhavstippen in the southwest corner of the Danish capital.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

The structure stands nearly five metres tall and has a hole in the top to let in light and let out smoke, plus two openings at the bottom for access.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

The hut was constructed by bolting sheets of flexible plywood together through CNC-cut strips of white polycarbonate, which were inspired by seams in clothing.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

The thin polycarbonate roof allows light to penetrate during the day, while at night it glows with light from the fire.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

Visitors to the hut can take a seat on the long bench inside while tending the open fire.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

Formerly a dumping ground for building materials, Sydhavstippen is now open to the public as a park and wildlife habitat.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

"Walking around in the area is just amazing," said Hjermid Jensen. "The 'wild' appearance of the nature on top of the building materials, which are visible in some places, makes you think of a 'post-apocalyptic' nature."

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

Above: photograph by Christian Bøcker Sørensen

Hjermid Jensen did not have explicit permission to build the hut on the site. "The shelter is meant as a gift for the area and for those who wish to use it," he explained, adding that he hopes it will remain in place for at least a year.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

We recently featured a similar temporary hut in Kyoto made in tribute to a tiny 800-year-old dwelling.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

Other projects in Copenhagen we've published recently include proposals for a series of artificial islands in the city's harbour and an aquarium shaped like a whirlpool.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

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Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

Photographs are by Simon Hjermid Jensen except where stated.

Here's some more information from the architects:


Fire Shelter: 01 is a personal project located at Sydhavnstippen in Copenhagen. The starting point for the design emerged from a fascination with the place. It's a temporary project and a design experiment that wishes to celebrate the place. The project has public access and it establishes experiences of spatial and social character. In the creation of it, nobody has been asked for advice, neither has it been possible for anyone to give his or her opinion. It is simply thought of as a gift.

You can reach the location at Sydhavnstippen after a 20-minute bike ride from central Copenhagen. Sydhavnstippen was landfilled with building materials between 1945 and 1973. Before that it was a seabed. Since the landfill plants, bushes and trees have taken over the area, today it's a habitat for a variety of animals. Walking around in the area is just amazing. The 'wild' appearance of the nature on top of the building materials, which are visible in some places, makes you think of a 'post-apocalyptic' nature. The often deserted area amplifies this.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

The shelter takes inspiration from the architecture of ethnic and nomadic people. The shelter consists of one shape stretching for the sky. It has one hole in the top and two openings at the bottom. Plywood and polycarbonate are the main materials and all the different parts are fabricated using CNC technology. It is 4.7m tall and haves a diameter at ground level at 3.8m. The structural element of the shelter is the 2-9mm thick walls. The walls consist of thin and bendable shells which are tightened together with bolts and a piece of 2mm thick polycarbonate.

The bottom of the shelter is made of plywood and inside is a fire place surrounded by a bench. The bench is filled with building materials found on the site. This ballast secures the shelter to the ground without any kind of digging for foundations. The upper part of the shelter is in white transparent polycarbonate. The transparent ability allows daylight during the day, and after dusk the light from the fire will shine through the polycarbonate. This way the shelter brings back memories of old times lighthouses.

Fire Shelter by SJHWorks

Besides being a design experiment, which tests the possibilities and structural solutions that digital fabrication is capable of giving, the shelter is meant as a gift for the area and for those who wish to use it. It's about being in the company of good friends, in a fantastic place, around a fire during the dark time of the year. If bureaucracy had been taken into account, the project probably wouldn’t have happened. The wish to act independently was the desire to create a unique and specific project without being subject to any kind of compromises.

The shelter was designed, produced and paid for by the firm SHJWORKS. The assembly job, done without the use of ladders, was made possible assisted by Christian Bøcker Sørensen and others. Hopefully the shelter can stand for a year. SHJWORKS has a great respect for the value of the area, and we don't think we jeopardise any of these values realising this project. The shelter is a temporary project and the day it's gone it will leave no traces.

  • Ale

    Fantastic idea! but how can I start a fire without a lighter or matches? Moreover, there is a hole at the top of the shelter, so if it rains?