Vertical Village

While many Copenhagen families dream of combining the city life with personal freedom, a small garden and their own house, they often have to leave the city in order to fulfill their dreams. The dense structure of the city offers scarce possibilities for developing garden houses in central locations, and most of the newer residential developments perpetuate the reproduction of the apartment housing block as the one-and-only answer to the current housing needs.


Why not combine the advantages of the housing block’s communitarian effectiveness with the individualized family charme of the garden house?


By organizing the required apartments in 2-3 level houses, a differentiation within the building mass emerges. Each house gets its own character and material. The different houses are highly attractive, as they answer to a range of different needs and ideals: the duplex house, the row house, the town house etc.


Stacking these different houses on top of each other provides each family with a unique position within an informal community of individual identities. The inbetween spaces create views form the street through the building and accomodate a social infrastructure of intriguing passages, elevated front gardens, hang-out corners and playgrounds. Along with the informal housing amalgam and the front gardens, trees all the way up further contribute to the intense feeling of domesticity and neighborliness of a a vertical village.

Client: Municipality of Copenhagen

Program: Residential urban developement with a total gross floor area of 3570m2, including 2.900m2 dwelling program organized as 26 stacked family houses, 380m2 retail, basement parking

Year: 2009

Location: Amager, Copenhagen

Team: Serban Cornea, Kristina Adsersen, Caterina Pannhausen, Yan Zheng

Collaborators: MOE Consulting Engineers

Status: Competition, exhibited as part of the Vertical Village exhibition by MVRDV in Taipei, Taiwan