Project Info

Architects: OMA
Partners In Charge: Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon
Associate In Charge: Adrianne Fisher
Client: Realdania Byg
Engineering: Arup, Cowi
Cost & Risk Management: Davis Langdon
Local Architect: C. F. MøllerFaçade: Arup Façade Engineering
Sustainability: Arup
Landscape: Kragh & Berglund
Lighting Design: Ducks Scéno
Scenography: Ducks Scéno
Acoustics: DHV
Carpark Consultant: Alectia
Renderings: Bloomimages, Robota
Animation: Neutral
Area: 27,000 m2
Year: 2017
Photographs: Courtesy of OMA


OMA has broke ground on a 27,000 square meter, mixed-use development on the banks of Copenhagen’s historic waterfront in the culturally rich Slotsholmen district. Upon its completion in early 2017, Bryghusprojektet will become the new headquarters for the Danish Architecture Centre (DAC), while also providing housing, offices, retail, a restaurant, and an urban park. These programs will be stacked over and under the busy Christians Brygge, providing city dwellers direct and uninterrupted access to the water’s edge.


OMA Partner-in-charge Ellen van Loon explained: “Instead of stacking a mixed-use program in a traditional way, we positioned the DAC in the centre of the volume, surrounded by and embedded within its objects of study: housing, offices and parking. The urban routes reach into the heart of the building and create a broad range of interactions between the different program parts and the urban environment.”

Bryghusprojektet is the missing link between the city centre, the historic waterfront and the culturally rich Slotsholmen district of Copenhagen. Located at the intersection of these disparate quarters, this project formally and programmatically mediates between them, drawing them together. The Bryghusprojektet consists of a mix of homes, offices, shops, restaurants and a new headquarters for the Danish Architecture Centre.
Situated among landmarks in the history of Danish architecture, Bryghusprojektet shares with the indigenous modernism tenets of simplicity, monumentality and urbanity. The site is bound by a cluster of historic monuments, including the Christiansborg Palace and the Old Brewery, but shares the riverside with many other bold, contemporary interventions. This architectural and historical complexity became an important influence on OMA’s design.

For Bryghusprojektet, OMA rejected a familiar stacked section in favour of a heaped organisation. This allows the programmatic elements to intertwine and interact, fostering a strong community within. At an urban level, the unpredictable mass oscillates between the heterogeneity of its neighbours and the large rectilinear industrial buildings on the opposite riverbank. Allowing such variety permits limitless readings depending on one’s location. The programme has also been adjusted for permeability at street level – encouraging visitors to the social and cultural amenities, embedding Bryghusprojektet in the life of the city.

The design for Bryghusprojektet is governed by a conscientious and thorough sustainability manifesto, ensuring that the final building consumes only minimal resources during construction and use. A target for energy consumption has been set at 52 kWhrs/m2, which is significantly below the Danish average. OMA’s plan for sustainability encompasses societal and economic factors, such as long-term financial viability for Bryghusprojektet’s commercial tenants. The public programme, urban routes and the Danish Architecture Centre within will encourage a cohesive atmosphere both for residents and visitors. Such a mix of program within the building is unique – for the first time an architecture centre will be embedded within its own key subjects of study and research – housing, offices, public space and parking.
When completed, Bryghusprojektet will be an important catalyst in the invigoration of this otherwise underused part of Copenhagen. The mix of private spaces and cultural institutions infuses the area with a new economic and civic vitality for the benefit of the whole city.