Finding a Line Through Copenhagen
July 6, 2017
For many, Danish design evokes the image of neutral, minimalist interiors with clear lines and gentle curves. After exploring the city that started it all, however, I’ve learned just how far the Danes are willing to embrace mid-century modern in every aspect of architecture as well. From the Circle Bridge to Hotel CPH Living, it’s obvious the simple lines of Danish design aren’t just for interiors.
Classic Danish design has many elements that create the iconic style, but one fundamental form can be seen throughout: unifying the line and curve. Danish designer, Nanna Ditzel expresses this concept in her Trinidad Chair, where the radiating lines form an understated curve to give the chair an iconic and quintessential Danish elegance.
Thinking about the line and curve, I ventured through the city, photographing beautifully designed buildings, bridges, and classic pieces at the Designmuseum Danmark, a museum dedicated to educating visitors about the history of Danish design. While exploring the city, I realized the balanced architectural nature of Copenhagen was because of its loyalty to mid-century design. From the iconic Jacobson clock, created in the 1970’s, to the Circle Bridge, built in 2015, they all demonstrated the cohesion of Copenhagen’s linear curve
It’s clear to see the influence mid-century Danish architects had over this every-growing city. Even Jacobsen’s Banker's Clock has distinct simplicities that can be seen in various buildings, such as Hotel Cphliving’s exterior. Divided by linear bars into individual squares revealing the doors and ‘portholes’, it has subtle hints to the 1971 clock.
Even though The Circle Bridge was built recently, it still holds true to the Danish philosophy. The bridge is reminiscent of 5 ships, colliding together to form a bridge complete with red crisscrossing railings to clearly delineate the protruding edges and 5 suspended masts towering over pedestrians and cyclists zig-zagging across the bridge. The play between the linear pattern of the railings, the linear suspension lines of the masts against the 5 distinct circular platforms reflects this nature of simplification in Danish design.
While Copenhagen is known for its famous Nyhaven Harbour and simplistic Danish interiors, the subtle continuity of their architecture can sometimes be easily missed but always enjoyed.
PHOTOS: Laura Jaye for Visualhouse
WORDS: Laura Jaye