Week 5: Copenhagen, DK | Oslo, NOR
Day 29: 18 June 2018
After a long day of studio, I took the afternoon off from activities and tried to get some work done instead.
Day 30: 19 June 2018
On the recommendation of my Aunt and Grandmom, my friend and I took a day trip to the Copenhagen Zoo. It turned out to only be a 12 minute bike ride up the road from our apartment. They had a lot of different animals as well as some unique architecture to house them. It was also that time of year in the breeding season so almost all of the animals had babies! There were a few areas with very little barrier between the guests and animals so we were able to pet a giraffe and a sloth, very much unlike American zoos.
Day 31: 20 June 2018
It was a beautiful day, so after dinner my friend and I went for a walk by the canals near our apartment. Swans are the national animal of Denmark and in Copenhagen, there are swans in nearly every body of water.
Day 32: 21 June 2018
Our studio took another field trip to a few locations.
First was the Copenhagen University Library, which is the oldest library in Denmark and was first built in 1482 by Johan Daniel Herholdt. It has been rebuilt a few times since then, and is not actively in use except by staff, but we were granted permission to visit.
Next, we went to the Maritime Museum of Denmark by B.I.G. Architects. An architectural marvel, the museum was built mostly tunneled underground into and around an old ship building dock. The contrast of new and old, as well as the consistent maritime theming made the museum a worthwhile visit.
Right beyond the maritime museum was the old castle that inspired Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Kronborg Castle which was built in the 16th century. Although we didn’t enter, we took a quick walk into the fortress wall and admired the view of Sweden from the coastline.
On our way back to the metro station, we passed by a local public library, Biblioteket Kulturværftet by AART Architects. The building was originally part of the port and ship building complex, but was reused for the community. While it created a spatially interesting entrance vestibule, the structure and form ruined a lot of the beautiful view and the interior was rather basic. However, the atmosphere and some of the smaller reading areas were quite nice.
Day 33: 22 June 2018
We visited another Copenhagen library, The Library by COBE and Transform. It was built as a social engine for the mostly immigrant and refugee residents of the neighborhood and its connection to the next-door youth housing was still in progress. Though quite small, it was primarily individual and group spaces with relatively few book collections. It also had a free space where people could learn Danish from tutors.
Day 34: 23 June 2018
We began our long study tour to Norway and Sweden with a 17 hour overnight “ferry,” which turned out to be more like a cruise ship. It really was an adventure and I enjoyed the buffet, the views, and getting to know the 23 other students who were on the trip.
Day 35: 24 June 2018
Upon arriving in Oslo, we quickly visited a few architectural sites.
Our first stop in Norway was the Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum). We primarily looked at the new glass and wood addition to the older museum by Christian Grosch, but also enjoyed seeing the architecture exhibit.
We then went to one of the most famous examples of Scandinavian architecture, the Norske Opera House and Ballet Theater by Snøhetta. While we saw it as we docked from the ferry, it was truly impressive up close. The weather was great so many people roamed the walkable slopes of the roofs and trickled inside. The white marble exterior was made to invoke the snow slopes of Norwegian mountains, while the theater inside was textured with local oak slats and took a more organic form around the 3 interior theaters. Our tour allowed us to see backstage and adjoining work rooms where everything that goes into a show is housed, including practice rooms, costume designers, and metal workshops for construction of the sets. The whole building was really quite impressive.