Monuments of the Future

Dan Stubbergaard, founder of the internationally praised COBE Architects, takes us around his hometown Copenhagen in Denmark to show and discuss what motivates their exciting socially conscious and highly innovative projects.

“Doing architecture is not a one person thing, it’s a collective effort.” When Stubbergaard was an intern in the Netherlands, he became conscious of the social impact of good architecture and the need to deal with pragmatic issues, society and its current challenges: “It was really a turning point for me as a student to understand that what I was doing, and what architecture was about, was something much bigger than being really good at making a perfect drawing.”

What is really important to COBE when generating social success with architecture is to respect and understand the specific context they work in. This context being not only the physical surroundings but also the social context, which is why COBE has a lot of focus on involving the users. Their work therefore also rests on the premise that everyday architecture matters – building kindergartens, libraries and other public places based on the idea that buildings should embrace people.

Stubbergaard is very aware that only time can tell if a project has done what it was supposed to do: “Maybe it’s only at that time that you can really judge whether it was a success, whether it worked, whether it’s liveable, whether it’s lively, whether it’s able to transform again and again and again, as a city has to work like a big organism.” Architecture can regenerate energy, transform a place and break the negative spiral in an e.g. problematic housing area, and thus help build a socially diverse city.

When and how do we build monuments for the future? This is also one of the questions that occupies Stubbergaard, who seeks to avoid the sometimes boring aspects of modernism by mixing scale and repetition: “I love the idea that we sometimes – as a society – invest and build for the past, but that it is also about celebrating the future, because it will stand for decades and be a memory of something important way back.”

Dan Stubbergaard (b. 1974) is the Founder & Creative Director of COBE in Copenhagen. COBE is a contemporary community of architects that focuses on architecture and design from buildings to public space and large scale urban planning. COBE was founded in 2005 and has since then gained international recognition through the realization of beautiful and innovative projects. Find out more about COBE Architects and their projects here:

Dan Stubbergaard was interviewed by Marc-Christoph Wagner in Copenhagen in the summer of 2014.

Camera: Klaus Elmer
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Marc-Christoph Wagner
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

Featured in the video:

Tingbjerg Culture House
Client: City of Copenhagen
Architects: COBE
Landscape architects: Kragh & Berglund
Engineers: Søren Jensen
Completed end of 2016

Prinsessegade Kindergarten and Youth Club
Client: City of Copenhagen
Architects: COBE and Nord Architects Copenhagen
Engineers: Grontmij
Landscape Architects: PK3
Completed end of 2016

The Library
Client: City of Copenhagen
Architects: COBE and Transform
Engineers: Wessberg
Landscape Architects: Schønherr
Contractor: Brd. A & B Andersen
Photographers: Adam Mørk
Completed 2011

Red Cross Volenteer House
Client: Danish Red Cross – donated by the A.P. Møller Foundation
Architects: COBE
Engineers: Søren Jensen
Completed end of 2016

Forfatterhuset Kindergarten
Client: City of Copenhagen
Architects: COBE
Engineers: DAI
Landscape Architects: PK3
Photographers: Adam Mørk and Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST
Completed 2014

Nørreport Station
Client: City of Copenhagen, Banedanmark, DSB
Architects: COBE and Gottlieb Paludan Architects
Engineers: Grontmij
Light designers: Bartenbach Licht Labor
Photographers: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST
Completed mid-2015

Tampere Travel and Service Center
Client: City of Tampere, Finnish Transport Agency, VR-Group and Senate Properties
Architects: COBE and Lunden Architecture
Engineers: Rambøll

The Rockmagnet
Client: Denmark’s Rockmuseum in collaboration with Roskilde Festival Højskole and Roskildegruppen
Architects: COBE and MVRDV
Engineers: Wessbergand and Transsolar
Landscape Architects: LIW Planning
Completed end of 2015

Porsgrunn Maritime Museum
Client: Telemark Museum
Architects: COBE and Transform
Engineers: Sweco
Photographers: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST
Completed 2013

Client: Copenhagen City & Port Development
Architects: COBE, Sleth and Polyform
Engineers: Rambøll
Completed during the next 50 years

The Silo
Client: Union Holding
Architects: COBE
Engineers: Balslev
Contractor: NRE
Photographers: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST
Completed end of 2016

Adidas Meet & Eat
Client: Adidas Group
Architects: COBE and CL Map
Engineers: Knippers Helbig and Transsolar
Completed end of 2018

Køge North Station
Client: Banedanmark, Køge Muncipality, DSB Properties
Architects: COBE and Dissing + Weitling
Engineers: COWI
Completed 2018

Krøyers Plads
Client: NCC Property Development
Architects: COBE and Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects
Engineers and contractor: NCC
Landscape Architects: GHB
Completed end of 2015

Israel’s Square
Client: City of Copenhagen
Architects: COBE and Sweco
Engineers: Niras
Artist: Morten Stræde
Photographers: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST
Completed 2014

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