Friday was the official opening day of the new Israels Plads, the big square next to Torvehallerne, our not-so farmers market. This whole area is a sore space to me. First, they took all the old chestnut trees by Torvehallerne (prompting me to start Red Byens Træer, the tree hugging initiative, so thanks, I guess). Next the city chopped down 80+ trees and bushes to build the new Israels Square. A couple of days before the opening, I snug into a building, and caught the square from the fourth floor.
The 80+ trees have been replaced by what looks like.. 13? The concrete job is smooth and beautifully finished, inviting in kids on all kinds of wheels. But as you can imagine the noise level is insufferable. The sounds bounces freely between the buildings, like it does on Superkilen. Do I have to say it? Trees. They forgot to factor in trees.
On the left side outside the frame Ørstedsparken, on the right side the "farmers market" Torvehallerne.
With the entire square raised 30 cm from the ground, they have named it the Flying Carpet (Det Flyvende Tæppe). Underneath it all is a large underground parking lot. If only we had those for bikes.
Zooming in on Torvehallerne. See that white cloth covering the windows? Yeah, they had to do that, to keep the place from overheating. You know, stuff the butchered chestnut trees would have taken care of. Duh. Back on the ground, after opening day:
Props for remembering the trash cans, but it looks like they forgot bike parking on the square (so far only lining the street). Already kids are just throwing them on the ground. Also, this square is adjacent to a handful of schools, Torvehallerne (with close to zero bike parking facilities on the south side), and the busiest train station in Copenhagen, Nørreport (with the green roofs). But since they are not entirely done, it could still be added with the final touches.
View from the stairs at the far end.
Behind it all Ørstedsparken, the wildest park in Copenhagen. They tried to take more of it, but the Danish Society for Nature Conservation fought for the old trees, and as a compromise the architects found a way to work around them. A work still in progress, expected to be finished in August.
The stairs in the coveted evening sun. Wait, what? They placed the dominant set of stairs in the shadow, back turned to the sunset? No, they didn't? Again: same thing on Superkilen. Why is it that urban architetcs don't factor in where the sun sets? It is so important to us. Especially in the sun deprived North.
Bouncy floor detail from the fenced in court. Yummy little sprinkles.
I wonder if the weekend flea markets will return? And the new trees survive? Considering the price we paid for this square in tranquility and trees, it better be a huge success. Fingers crossed.
The Flying Carpet on DAC (architectural details)