Foster + Partners just kicked off construction on Ferring Pharamceuticals’ new light-filled headquarters in Copenhagen. Surrounded on all sides by water, the 39,000-square-meter office building takes advantage of its waterfront position with a glass envelope that captures surrounding views and natural daylight. The visually striking building is built like an inverted pyramid and the generous use of glass gives the structure a floating appearance that contrasts with the heavy plinth on which it sits.
Located near the Copenhagen International airport in the city’s Kastrup area, Ferring Pharamceuticals’ new country headquarters design is strongly informed by its surrounding urban landscape. Since the site is flanked by predominately low-rise development, the architects designed the building facade with a strong horizontal emphasis and clad the structure almost entirely in glass to take advantage of views. The headquarters’ triangular form was dictated by the shape of the waterfront site and is set atop a large stone plinth that protects the building from flooding.
Six glazed floors and a cantilevered roof canopy are stacked atop the plinth and are arranged in such a way to create self-shaded spaces on each floor. A large atrium punctuates the heart of the building and comprises the entrance lobby, cafe, breakout spaces, conference facility, and other social, collaborative spaces. The areas for quiet individual work, such as the offices and laboratories, are tucked away at the edges. The workspace layout was determined by in-depth studies of the company’s work culture. Daylight streams in to illuminate the workplaces from all sides.
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“We wanted to create a very strong base that directly connects to and celebrates this unique waterside location and lifts the building above that level – so that there are uninterrupted views from the ground floor to the strait and the surrounding harbour,” said Grant Brooker, who led the building design. “For such a significant project it was vital that the building reflected the personality of the organisation and that it would create a collaborative and flexible working environment to carry them through the next century.”
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Images via Foster + Partners