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Nord Architects, Brønshøj, Denmark

Like a concertina in cross-laminated timber: Community centre by Nord Architects

Brønshøj is a district of Copenhagen northwest of the inner city area. Its Romanesque church, the city’s oldest, was located in a relatively isolated position, away from the major roads. 

Urban development solution
To reintegrate the church in the local urban context, the new community centre has been set close to Brønshøj Torv, a square central situated in the district. The building’s rounded shaping seems to extend the open space and draw movement in the direction of the church. This urban development strategy has given the community centre a fixed place in the Brønshøj Torv setting. The building also backs onto the pastor’s green garden, with the result that the site is characterised by the contrasting qualities of an open and bustling square on the one hand and a peaceful, intimate garden on the other. 

Design and material choices
In terms of form language, the community centre is reminiscent of a concertina, coming with a curved glass façade articulated by vertical wooden slats and non-punctuated areas in ashwood boards. The large multi-layer cross-laminated timber panels capable of spanning large spaces used in the building’s construction help stabilise humidity, acoustics and temperature to the benefit of the interior.  

Flexible spatial organisation
A large, open-plan hall extends through the length of the building, in this way creating a direct connection between the city square and the garden. Accordion walls can be opened out to divide the space into three, while an access zone providing with seating places leads to offices and smaller rooms. 

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