As we walk along the waterfront, the big brass doors look like dynamic, jagged images in which fragments of sky and metal overlap to create contrasting light and dark fields. The western facades of the building overlooking the sea contain big black cages, squares jutting out of the building, to light up the city by night and in winter; the eastern facades are curtain walls of glass. The theme of the box appears again and again in Larsen's work: he often puts together simple boxes of different materials, fixed into one another and projecting out from one another, with doors acting as joints and signals. In the Unibank headquarters the theme of the box gives us the impression that the building rises about 80 centimetres above the wharf, reinforcing the building's metaphysical effect in line with the vision Copenhagen offers of itself.
At the back of the building, along the tortuous Strandsgade, the architectural complex takes on a more sober appearance: after entering a grand courtyard, we proceed into the high-ceilinged entrance hall. On this side the facades are not black but white, covered with limestone; there are no more projecting boxes or uninterrupted façades, but windows level with the wall. The borderline between front and back is formed by the passageways of glass connecting the various teeth of the comb.
Unibank is a work of clear forms fitting perfectly into the fabric of the city, participating in Copenhagen's urban identity with its spaces and passages, its materials and furnishings; the complex also proves that it is possible to build a large building which fits harmoniously into a particularly delicate urban context.
Floriana De Rosa