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Theodora House in Copenhagen, Adept ApS, Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj

Elephant meets brickwork: Theodora House in Copenhagen

Constructed in 1902, the Elephant Gate designed by the architect Vilhelm Dahlerup was the indisputable landmark of Carlsberg’s brewery operations in western Copenhagen. Although these discontinued in 2008, the former hops and herbs storage building borne by the four stone elephants remains a point of identification for Carlsberg City, the district that has since come about at the former brewery site.

The Elephant Gate now has a new neighbour – Theodora House, an office and residential complex designed by Adept. Named for the brewery founder’s daughter, the new volume has been built on the plot of Carlsberg’s former yeast storage building, one wing of which has been integrated by the architects into their design and altered into offices. Three newly-built wings round off the block, and as such mainly contain apartments as well a few ground-floor shops and cafes along the street.

To enhance integration of what is intrinsically a sober-looking building into the historical context, the architects adopted a camouflage strategy. Concave facework bricks measuring 228 x 108 x 54 cm in size and primarily deployed in the lower areas of the facades lend the elevations a slightly weathered look, as if water splashes from the road had already taken their toil.

In the internal courtyard, the term camouflage likewise applies to the design of the white stuccoed walls fronted by diagonal trellising that makes a rather studied ornamentation effect. Over the long term climbing plants are to cover the latticework, thus softening the building’s austere lines, in this case with the random structures of foliage.

Further Information:

Landscape architects: Werk Arkitekter ApS

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