About 600 projects have been nominated over the years, and more than 250 have been awarded. The winning projects testify to the representative trends of their times and tell the story of the changing needs of society,” explains Camilla van Deurs.
“The beginning of the 20th century was characterised, in particular, by the creation of beautiful decorations on building façades and interiors. After the Second World War and into the 1950s, as the welfare state emerged, public buildings began to shoot up and gain recognition as genuine architecture. Therefore, public housing, schools and water towers were often given awards during that period,” she says, adding:
“The 1970s and 80s were an economically depressed time in Denmark, hugely impacted by the oil crisis. It affected Copenhagen in that not many new building projects were embarked upon. Instead, the focus was on reusing buildings and restoring existing ones,” says the city architect, who continues her description of Copenhagen’s architectural history:
“The 1990s saw the advent of pedestrianisation and upgrades to urban spaces such as Strøget, Copenhagen’s main shopping street. By this time, it was no longer only buildings that were considered for the awards, but also urban spaces. Around the turn of the millennium and throughout the 00s, many of the awards went to major cultural buildings. And they are not only for the benefit of Copenhageners, but also represent major national investments, such as the Opera House, the Royal Danish Playhouse and the Copenhagen Metro,” she says.