Steven Holl to build Copenhagen skyscrapers linked by 65-metre-high cycle bridge


New York architect Steven Holl has finally received the go-ahead to build a pair of skyscrapers in Copenhagen harbour, linked by a pedestrian and cycle bridge 65 metres above the water's surface.

Nearly eight years after winning a competition for the site, Steven Holl Architects has revealed that its Copenhagen Gate proposal now has a construction date pencilled in for 2016.


The proposal includes two hotel and office towers on opposite sides of the harbour: Gate L on the Langelinie pier side, and Gate M on the Marmormolen wharf side.

An angular pedestrian and cycle bridge will connect the two towers, raised 65 metres above the harbour to allow enough clearance for cruise ships to pass underneath.

Steven Holl Architects was unanimously selected by competition judges in October 2008. But construction was delayed as a result of the global economic recession, according to the firm.


"Construction has been delayed by the economy, but is planned to start in 2016/17 if rental efforts are progressing satisfactorily," said a statement on the architect's website.

This isn't Holl's first linked skyscraper design – in 2009 he completed Linked Hybrid, a group of eight linked towers in Beijing, China. He also completed a "horizontal skyscraper" in Shenzhen in 2010.

Related stories: see more of Steven Holl's projects

Set to be the most ambitious scheme yet, the Copenhagen structures will use steel cables to support the weight of the bridge, which will meet at an angle "like a handshake over the harbour".


The underside of the bridge will be coloured in bright shades of yellow and orange, and its aluminium surfaces will be lit at night to create reflections on the water below.

Other Steven Holl projects under construction include a public library in New York's Queens neighbourhood, a Maggie's cancer-care centre at London's St Bartholomew's Hospital and a new building for the University of Iowa.

  • Happycamper

    Check out the reflection of the bridge – classy.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Totally bogus. Reflections on water that rough is limited to light and colour. Shapes are not defined.

      • Hed

        Render geeks!

  • I can already say that no biker whatsoever will take an elevator (two times up/down) to cross a part of the harbour, which you can easily go around.

    I guess you could say that you lose more time going up and down, then cycling for some extra minutes in the outside.

    • mcmlxix

      That, and cyclists generally like to avoid lookie-loo pedestrians clogging up spaces and wandering willy nilly, which such a bridge would attract.

  • nicholas

    Is it April 1st already?

    • Hed

      No. We’re actually at the end of November now. April is in spring, that means right before summer (summer is the time of the year when it’s warm).

  • Jess Thinkin

    Everybody’s looking for a shtick, and some are shtickier than others.

  • Vicente Fictício Cruz

    Steven Holl. Pure comedy genius.

  • Mikey

    “Please no skateboards, pets, bicycles, food or drink indoors or in the elevator. Thanks — the management.”

  • CharlesCU

    Steven Holl abandons quality in his search for the step-up to starchitecture status, which would enable him to excrete the same tosh utterly devoid of context that Libeskind, Hadid and Gehry have been bombing the world with for years.

  • TFO

    A reproduction of the Colossus of Rhodes would have been less ridiculous than this.

  • Melon

    Dear Copenhagen, please, no.

  • Steffen

    The project has been underway for the better part of a decade. Its part of the UN/Unicef HQ, which has been underdevelopment for a number of years.

    I highly doubt it’s going to accesable to the public, with the level of security they have.