New life in the malt silo

Arkitema Architects’ office in Copenhagen has moved to unique premises in the new Carlsberg City District - the architects have transformed a former malt silo into a workplace for approx. 160 employees.

Troldtekt Arkitema Copenhagen
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The former site of the Carlsberg brewery in Copenhagen is currently being transformed into a new neighbourhood – Carlsberg City District – with new buildings cropping up while existing buildings are being given a new lease of life.

At the Dipylon – or Double Gate – stands a former malt silo from 1968. The building is relatively closed and anonymous, due to its function as a silo. The original structure was designed by Svenn Eske Kristensen, and as several of the facades overlooking Ny Carlsberg Vej to the south and east are very distinctive, they have been listed.

In transforming the silo, these two facades have therefore been preserved to the greatest possible extent, while the north-facing facade has been opened up with large, unbroken window sections, allowing light to flood into the offices. In addition, a penthouse floor has been added with a canteen and access to a roof terrace.

Superb working conditions

On arriving at the architects’ office, visitors are immediately struck by the dramatic entrance with a stairway rising up inside one of the concrete silos. You then emerge into Arkitema’s light and airy open-plan offices on four levels with their large desks and conference rooms. In the high-ceilinged rooms, a good balance has been struck between the raw industrial feel and the fine detailing around the ceilings and the unifying stairway.

The large, open levels function well acoustically, and employees are able to both work in peace and quiet and discuss projects in groups. Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed as a recurring element on all the ceilings, beautifully matching the grey walls and the industrial look.

According to the architect Jens W. Ø. Larsen from Arkitema Architects, creating rooms in the otherwise “massive” building was an interesting challenge.

Secondary rooms have been created in the former silos, and a number of concrete walls have been cut up. The raw and basically untreated wall surfaces exude their own charm – as part of the special architecture that unfolds when buildings are converted for new purposes.