Ørestad is an emerging neighborhood in Copenhagen that is redefining 21st century living. At the heart of the development is 8 Tallet (or 8 House), a progressive apartment complex that is a small neighborhood in itself. The idea is that localizing services for residences — something large, dense cities take for granted — can be incorporated in new developments from the start. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the complex features a gorgeous green roof, is oriented to make the most of available daylight, and is still just a 12 min train ride to downtown.

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The complex is Denmark’s largest apartment building — it holds 476 apartments, some with private gardens, and the ground floor features a commercial square– which in all spans 62,000 square meters. An east-west orientation provides each living unit with ample daylighting.

The exterior is broken both horizontally and vertically. Green spaces dominate the court yards and the roof, reducing the urban heat island effect and providing visual relief for the occupants. Communal areas in the center of the complex provide residents with a place to stretch out on those long winter days. The apartments come in a range of sizes and prices to accommodate a large cross section of the population.

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BIG’s design is on the edge of urbanity both physically and conceptually. The offices and retail at the lower floor provide pedestrian access throughout the complex’s entire footprint. Pedestrians have access to a path that transverses the roof of 8 Tallet as well, providing exercise and expansive views of the adjacent plains of Amager.  A short walk to the Metro provides access to the whole of Copenhagen — a city emerging as one of the greenest cities in the world. Here is a refreshingly interactive video explaining more.

+ Bjarke Ingels Group

+ 8 Tallet