CPH Bike Station

Copenhagen Central Station is the hub of the DSB railway network (Danske Statsbaner, i.e. Danish State Railways) serving Denmark and a number of international destinations, as well as the capital city of Copenhagen, where the S-train commuter rail system connects the city center to the inner and outer boroughs and suburbs.


Between 1978 and 1994, the building’s two halls, designed by the chief architect for DSB Heinrich Wenck in 1911 to accommodate a functional division between arrivals and departures, were merged into one station concourse, and the stairwells connecting the original departure hall with the platforms were demolished. Escalators and lifts were established to the platforms, and a Shopping Centre was established featuring small shops, cafeterias, and fast food outlets.

Increased commuting tendencies

Due to the upcoming connection to the Metro City Ring in 2018, the Central Station is facing a major capacity extension, and correspondingly a passenger flow growth. The increase of the commuters corresponds to a parallel steady increase in the bicycle traffic in CPH, with a major increase of the bicycle traffic in the city centre and the surrounding residential areas. In 2015, it is estimated that 40% of the Central Station commuters, amounting to 14.400 people, pursue their journey by bicycle. 35 % of all who work in Copenhagen – including people who live in the suburbs and neighbouring towns but work in Copenhagen - commute to work by bike.

Modal interchange

How to cope with the massive traffic increase in a period where CPH is growing at a pace of 1.000 persons x month? Shifting away from private cars towards public transport coupled with cycling as the dominant mode of transport responds efficiently to the growing traffic. Trains are the most efficient and sustainable form of transportation, while cycling is great for the environment and keeps you healthy too. So why not leave the car at home, cycle to your local station and continue your onward journey on a train?

A successful coupling of the two transportation modes, however, requires structural changes aimed at supporting multi-modal trips, including reducing the travel time and walking distance, as well as improving the passenger’s door-to-door experience. Could we develop a successful multimodal system based on a symbiosis between bicycle and train?

Traffic separation

Today, the number of bikes parked in the surrounding areas of the Central Station is double than the number of parking places provided. Commuters struggle to find parking places nearby, and the hunt for a parking place has moved further and further away in the surrounding streets. Furthermore, the negative impact of difficult transfer is worsened by the fact that passengers who choose to bring their bicycle on board and pedestrians both share the same concourse floor. Could a separation of pedestrian and bike traffic optimize the departure and arrival conditions for all commuters?

New bike concourse

The Shopping Centre’s unused roof areas, in combination with the generous interior height of the Central Station, provides a unique opportunity for establishing an independent concourse level for bike commuters inside the very station hall. By separating pedestrian and bike traffic, we can maximise the reliability of the transfer and the efficiency of access for all commuters, while minimising disorientation and confusion. The new bike concourse level allows the creation of bike parking places close to the platforms, as well as the creation of facilities, retail and service areas aimed at supporting quick and safe commuting.

Bike experience

The new bike concourse level provides efficient access and directness of path combined with weather protection, while minimizing the physical barriers to transferring. In the same time, it accommodates expanded services and well located facilities aimed at providing a high quality passenger experience for bike commuters: shopping, dining, bike shops, locker rooms, waiting areas, bike repairing as well as a Bicycle Sharing Centre.

A new combined bike&parking path connects all the bike related services and facilities, while providing direct elevator access to the platforms below. The underside of the bike path provides a vibrant display of information for the travellers. Light bike ramps on the facades of the Central Station towards Vesterbrogade and Rewentlovsgade provide bike parking and access to the halls, while in the same time acting as extensions of the cycling infrastructure towards the main entrance (Vester Farimagsgade and Vesterbrogade), the superbikepath of Carlsbergruten and the upcoming Metrostation at Halmtorvet.

Train&Bike Station

The bike ramp from the main entrance is extended inside the station hall as a continuous bike path, adjusted to accommodate the extensions of the existing elevators, thereby providing direct access to the platforms. By pushing the path together in the middle, a shortcut emerges which provides quicker access to the commuter rail. By cutting off the path at one end, a spatial ampersand & figure emerges: the Central Station welcomes both pedestrians and bikers!

Half of the path is pushed down to provide access to the roofs of the existing Shopping Centre. The different levels of the bike path are interconnected in the middle and at the end, providing stair connections all the way down to the original concourse level.

The new service and retail programme is composed of multiple volumes stacked, cantilevered and pushed to create overhangs and terraces for restaurants, cafés, lounges and waiting rooms, while in the same time maximizing physical and visual connections.

To further support the identity of The Central Station as the gate to Denmark, each ‘shopping island’ is featuring its own theme related to Danish culture and landscape.

CPH Bike City

CPH Bike Station will be the first permanent solution to park bicycles inside a train station in Denmark, as well as the first train station to undergo the transformation from train station to a multi-modal train & bike hub. The new concourse level and access ramps have the potential of accommodating up to 4.000 bikes in two-level parking racks, while adding 3.250m2 service space to the existing 2.200m2 retail space – specifically targeted at the biking customers. More than a bicycle parking station, CPH Bike Station will contribute to the identity of Copenhagen as the first Bike City in the World.

Client: Danish Architecture Center DAC, in partnership with Realdania, along with the Danish Ministry of Culture, the Danish Ministry of Environment, the Danish Ministry of Business and Growth, and the Danish Ministry of Climate and Building, City of Copenhagen

Program: Feasability study for the transformation of Copenhagen Central Station into a multi-modal bike & train station, a new bike concourse level inside the station hall, bike services and infrastructure, including 3.500m2 circulation, 4.000 bike parking, 3.250m2 retail and service facilities as part of the scenario project DK2050 - Scenarios for a fossil-free Denmark in 2050s

Year: 2014 - 2015

Location: Copenhagen Central Station

Team: Serban Cornea, Kristina Jordt Adsersen, Henrik Ulsfort, Marcin Kruk, Denisa Petrus, Mara Horj, Michele di Marco, Maria Herreros

Status: Commission, MUTOPIA has been head of the entire architectural production, as well as co-curator along with DAC