How Denmark is Leading the Movement in Sustainable Architecture

As champions of leading-edge, thoughtfully-designed spaces built to inspire communities, we enjoy sharing the visionary work of others who continue to impact the world’s landscape. One of the world’s leading cities aiming to set a powerful example of how architecture can help enrich the lives of those around it is Copenhagen, Denmark. Let’s take a look at how the Scandinavian country is leading the movement in sustainable architecture.

The Danish capital is embracing the title it received just a year ago as the world’s most sustainable city by championing various sustainable practices. Soon to host the UIA World Congress of Architects, Copenhagen’s latest builds feature a mixture of unprecedented eco-conscious and climate-resilient designs. 

One of the city’s most famous sustainable builds is the CopenHill power plant, said to be the “cleanest-waste-to-energy power plant in the world” and the winner of the European Commission’s Green Building Award in 2012. The unique build is combined with a recreational facility, allowing visitors to ski and sled down its artificial slope throughout the year. 

Karen Blixens Plad, plaza at the University of Copenhagen. Credit: Jasparbang on Wikimedia Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Many of the city’s other leading designs stem from its appreciation for cycling. Since 2005, Copenhagen has spent more than $16 million on cycling infrastructure, including the Karen Blixens Plads, a public plaza that holds parking for more than 2,000 bikes, and Lille Langebro, a cycling bridge that easily opens to admit boats. 

Copenhagen’s love and appreciation for sustainable design is something the country has held for decades, stemming from pioneering architects like Jan Gehl, who promoted humanist architecture in the 1970s. Today, the city relies on local architects and designers to build on its rich history of eco-friendly design. 

At Optima, we continue to explore the best possible ways to create harmony between the built and natural environments to allow our residents to enjoy a healthier, more sustainable environment. From our signature vertical landscaping systems and ample green spaces to the inclusion of induction cooktops, we look to embrace sustainable design in every aspect of our residents’ lives.

With new forms of sustainable design created across the world daily, we can’t wait to continue exploring the ways innovative architecture can contribute to a healthier, more sustainable home for all.

The Work of SOFTLINE

At Optima, our passion for Modernism shines through in all aspects of design, from the art we hang on the walls to the furniture we select. For Optima Kierland Apartments, we handpicked standout statement pieces from Danish furniture designer SOFTLINE, including the modular sofa and sculptural bench pictured above.

SOFTLINE started in Denmark in 1979 with a commitment to creating innovative, iconic and high-quality furniture. True to the essence of Modernist design, their pieces explore the limits of form and function. While their furniture unabashedly explores sculptural forms, SOFTLINE places an emphasis on modular furniture that’s able to be arranged in a variety of configurations and used for many purposes. And of course, each piece is swathed in a bold color as a finishing touch.

The amenity floor at Optima Kierland Apartments features Pierce, a bench designed by Karim Rashid for SOFTLINE. Rashid describes the bench’s undulating form as sensual and sculptural. Pierce is made up of two interconnected pieces that can’t exist without one another, creating an integral equilibrium that defies gravity. Rashid himself has been dubbed by Time magazine as “the most famous industrial designer of all the Americas” and the “Prince of Plastic.” 

Playing perfect complement to Pierce is the striking blue modular sofa, PLANET. The highly adaptable modular sofa was designed for Softline by Stine Engelbrechtsen so that those employing the piece can “create their own universe.” PLANET’s simple design and soft edges embody the ultimate in comfort, while the silver metal legs give the airy effect of the sofa hovering just above the ground. At Optima Kierland Apartments, we configured PLANET’s modular pieces so that residents can privately enjoy a section for quiet time, or convene together comfortably. 

These eye catching pieces are the perfect place for residents to relax or meet with friends, all the while being invigorated by the energy of the vibrant design around them.

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