Christiania Copenhagen : A Common out of the Ordinary

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Christiania Copenhagen : A Common out of the Ordinary

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Publication BookChapter
Title Christiania Copenhagen : A Common out of the Ordinary
Author(s) Hellström Reimer, Maria
Date 2011
Editor(s) Jorgensen, Anna; Keenan, Richard
English abstract
Years of development boom on both sides of the Oresund, the strait separating Sweden and Denmark, has resulted in an urban landscape of great wonder. On the Swedish side, in Malmö, the new talisman, the twisted high rise of Santiago Calatrava, towers behind old wharfs and docks. Erected by a labour movement housing association, it signals a new era and a new way of manifesting the spatial relationship between individual and group. With promises of both comfort and participation, the spiralling edifice has not only settled in with the surroundings, but also developed into a symbol for a welfare society keeping abreast of the times. Concurrently, on the Danish side, metropolitan Copenhagen expands. Its latest ramification, Ørestad, provides a new arena for the social manifestations of the new, entrepreneurial class. In the enchanting gleam from Jean Nouvel’s concert hall cube, Henning Larsen’s new IT University building market its tantalizing choices, and further down along the driver-less infrastructural artery, BIG’s terraced mountain capriciously challenges the Danish flatlands. Daniel Libeskind has similarly responded to the call, in a posh marketing video presenting a series of welcoming public spaces for the new Ørestad Down Town. ‘For me,’ Libeskind says while finishing his Espresso ‘architecture is all about people – architecture without human beings to enjoy it is meaningless. Marketing the urban landscape as a hotbed not only for technological innovation and economic development but also for the development of new life styles, today’s developers whole-heartedly adopt what may be interpreted as a radical urban rhetoric of the transformative and alternative. Nevertheless, just off the new and abundant urban landscape, you still find alternative, aberrations, suckers shooting off from the recognized multiplicity. One such offshoot is the Free Town of Christiania. In the beaming light of the new and semi-transparent developments, this threadbare, self-governed settlement in central Copenhagen, now in its forties, may seem more wicked than ever. Yet, at the same time, its special anthem Christiania – You Have My Heart, still hovers in the air. For if Copenhagen has a heart, it is likely to be found somewhere close to the appropriated military barracks in Bådsmansstræde, Christianshavn. And the localizing of this heartfelt site was always easy: ‘You simply take Bus no 8 to Princess Street. Cost: One token’.
Publisher Routledge
Host/Issue Urban Wildscapes
ISBN 978-0-415-58105-9
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
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