Renovation, Urban design


Ellebo render 2

Year: 2013
The Nordic Built Challenge for the Ellebo Housing Estate in Ballerup, Denmark. The challenge included the renovation of the existing buildings and outdoor areas, with 5,000m2 of additional housing.

ELLEBO: A Suburban Functionalist Castle
Set among rows of trees and open landscapes, the estate consists of 4 blocks of collective housing around a rectangular courtyard. Each building has a green, sunny front and a shadowed backside with circulation. This inhibits the sociability of the tenants by restricting entrance to the gardens, located on a lower level.

The CLOSER strategy: 
All development is a part of a process of unending improvements towards a goal which can never fully be materialized. The CLOSER strategy is our methodical and pragmatic approach towards the same Ideal for the renovation of Ellebo. Instead of dictating solutions, it provides a direction which can be re-imagined for other projects, something that adds to the emphasis of this as a lighthouse project. 

Ellebo render 1

CLOSER to Nordic 
What characterizes the challenges and celebrates the individuality of building in the Nordic countries? How do we relate our built environments with the human condition, and what identifies us in the globalized world?

1. CLOSER to Balance identifies the minimal and highly insulated surfaces of Nordic buildings to diminish heat loss, while storing heat in heavy or heat-accumulating inner constructions.
2. CLOSER to Light recognizes the importance of daylight in
Nordic countries

3. CLOSER to Each Other highlights the warmth people derive from inter-personal relationships. Nordic countries have low crime rates, high confidence in people in public areas and a general trust in the good intentions of society.
4. CLOSER to Nature is a Universal theme, but requires special measures to be realized in the Nordic countries due to constant weather changes, wet spells and high wind speed.

Golden Access 
Creating spaces that promote interaction and a healthy communal life is done by removing both physical and psychological barriers. A system of perforated gold anodized metal bridges and ramps supported by a new mesh of paths activates the garden, allowing people to move around the courtyard out to the corners. Further social possibilities are created by adding community areas on the new penthouse floor connected by galleries. Combined, these improve visual connectivity through the site.

Ellebo - renovating and adding

Ellebo’s new black fur
Slate on ventilated construction, framed by black painted zinc, forms the new façade, a dark and intriguing cover, summarizing the tough simplicity of the north. The entrance façades are recomposed into a more complex system by new window formats and small balconies placed in a non-rigid order. 

Ellebo material 1
Ellebo material 2
Ellebo material 3
Ellebo material 4
Ellebo material 5
Ellebo material 6

Golden touch of the individual

The perforated gold anodized metal on the new parts emits a warm everchanging glow. The golden metal of the balconies varies to strengthen the individuality, harmoniously contrasting the slate.

The Golden Bridges 
The elevated ramps allow access to a more natural landscape, accommodating the wet Nordic climate. The plateaus of the elevated paths create spaces sculptural shelters for wind and rain, and benches to sit in the sun.
The existing playgrounds and barbeque areas are integrated with new edges, the new grove offers blooming trees, while the football pit gets moved around to fit the new circulation. At night, the elevated paths will be lit by warm LED light from underneath creating a visual landscape.
A Swale is proposed to enrich the natural multiplicity and avoid floods from heavy rain by allowing the water can sink slowly to the groundwater.