Copenhagen dance hall becomes office for Danish law society
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Copenhagen dance hall converted into office for Danish law society

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter has added an aluminium structure inside a 19th-century dance hall in Copenhagen, transforming the building into an office for the Association of Danish Law Firms (+ slideshow).

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

The Valencia dance hall was originally built to face a busy Copenhagen street in the mid 1800s but was subsequently hemmed in by a taller building to the front and an extension to the rear.

These structures blocked the ornamental and gabled facade of the hall, which features three tall arched windows.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter was tasked with reworking this trio of buildings to create the headquarters for the Association of Danish Law Firms – an organisation that promotes the practice of law.

Glazed walls to the lower floor of the first block reinstate the hall's visual connection with the street, while a corrugated aluminium structure inserted into the hall frames vibrant yellow meeting spaces.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

"The aim was to bring Valencia back in to the consciousness of the Copenhagen residents," said the architects, "to expose the building so that the unique spatial qualities were clarified."

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

The glazing wraps a lobby housed in the base of the five-storey street-facing building, acting as a gatehouse for the main offices. This glazed wall offers views of the dance hall's facade and a small paved and planted courtyard.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Two floors above the reception operate as an administration block, while the top three floors were converted into apartments.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Inside the triple-height hall, the original brickwork was preserved and braced by a row of white columns and I-beams.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Concrete and plasterwork added to the floors and ceiling were designed to be "as neutral as possible," drawing attention to the original features. Rows of tables and chairs face the front of this central space, which is used to host courses and conferences.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

A corrugated aluminium structure built into the back of the hall contains a meeting box with a large window that overlooks the conference chamber. Acoustic boards positioned behind the aluminium cladding help to reduce echoes.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Vibrant yellow office spaces and stairwells are concealed behind doors disguised in the same corrugated cladding.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

"Inside the new furniture, all surfaces are painted yellow to highlight the new spaciousness and create a readable spatial hierarchy," explained the architects, who recently completed a Swedish kindergarten inspired by the shape of sand dunes.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Individual meeting rooms, a cafeteria and kitchen are located in the smaller building to the rear of the hall.

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Photography is by Torben Eskerod.


Project credits:

Architecture: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter A/S
Engineer: Jørgen Nielsen A/S, JJ Byg A/S

Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Axonometric diagram – click for larger image
Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Location plan – click for larger image
Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
First floor plan – click for larger image
Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Long section – click for larger image
Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Cross section one – click for larger image
Valencia by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Cross section two – click for larger image