The jagged surface of an iceberg inspires the new Copenhagen headquarters of the Nordea banking group designed by Henning Larsen Architects. The new building pays homage to the landscapes of the North and looks like a big block of clear ice anchored to the ground by a slate base plate. The façade is made up of a series of two-panel windows assembled one on top of another like building bricks. The different inclinations of the external panels give the building a jagged look like the surface of an iceberg. The façade creates pleasing colourful light effects as it reacts to variations in the intensity of light and atmospheric conditions.
Sheltered by skylights, users reach a big atrium rising the full height of the building connecting the two blocks into which its interior is divided. A series of overhead walkways and vertical links, and the spatial organisation of functions in the atrium with informal little areas featuring local tree species, help to give the space the appearance of an urban landscape, promoting interaction and encounters between employees and visitors. The building complies with the principles of sustainable architecture and the security standards required for today’s banks, and allows ordinary citizens to observe the work going on in the bank while visually connecting employees with the spectacular natural surroundings of the nearby protected area of Amager Fælled.
Design: Henning Larsen Architects henninglarsen.com
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Photos: Adam Mørk