Former state prison site to house green neighbourhood

20 May 2021
Credit: Schmidt Hammer Lassen & BOGL
  • Schmidt Hammer & Lassen & BOGL
  • Schmidt Hammer & Lassen & BOGL
  • Schmidt Hammer & Lassen & BOGL
  • Schmidt Hammer & Lassen & BOGL

Schmidt Hammer Lassen & BOGL




Development scheme creates five city districts close to nature

TenderStream member Schmidt Hammer Lassen and BOGL are reimagining a 160,000 sqm district in Albertslund, close to Copenhagen, which used to house a state prison. The design challenge was to transform an area once associated with solitary confinement to an integrated and open settlement with a strong focus on nature, combining a variety of housing typologies and linking the area to bicycle and pedestrian connections. The Vridsløselille scheme was chosen alongside another project by TenderStream member COBE to create a combined vision for the area’s future development.

Inspired by the unique relic of the past, the iconic star-shaped prison building is surrounded by trees which once stood as a security fence. The proposal focuses on opening the area and drawing new connections through the “Loop”, a new main pathway surrounding the site and tying the development’s districts together with the existing prison structure.

The design includes five districts, each with their own characteristics and connections to nature. To the north, Skovbyen features urban villas among two forest clusters, while in the west Bevægelsesbyen contains terraced, multi-storey houses with semi-public squares and intimate urban spaces. The largest and most populated district, Grobyen, is situated in the south-west and features residential units where community and interaction play a central role. Portbyen in the south connects to the railway and houses buildings up to 10 storeys. To the east, Havebyen is characterised by intimate Renaissance gardens.

The overall focus across all the districts is to lay the foundation for a healthy and social lifestyle with a broad spectrum of common areas and green spaces. Kristian Ahlmark, partner and design director at Schmidt Hammer Lassen, stated: “Our vision for Vridsløselille is to create a new neighbourhood with a green heart for all its citizens, an area that strengthens the social, climatic and landscape cohesive force in Albertslund. We will preserve as much as possible of the existing prison building and integrate some of the complex’s secondary buildings to enhance original qualities.”

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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