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Youth Housing Nansensgade

Social responsibility

“It’s been extremely difficult to find a suitable area in Copenhagen, and that is why I’m so excited that we found a place. The future residents get better houses than they have today, and they get the opportunity to be better integrated by living with us in the city”

said former Social Mayor, Jesper Christensen.

The efficient infill holds nine small apartments for socially vulnerable citizens. As the building site is only 10 meters wide, we turned this physical limitation of the architecture into a design quality, with two apartments on each floor the young inhabitants get a sense of privacy, while also giving them the security of being part of a community. Each apartment in the youth housing has its kitchen and a bathroom along with a niche for relaxing while enjoying the view of one of Copenhagen’s most vibrant streets. Outside, the facade is clad in golden warm metal and features a relief sculpture. Apart from creating variation and vibrancy in the urban environment, the protruding bay windows offer views down the street from each apartment niche. The 6th-floor roof terrace incorporates a difference in height between the surrounding buildings which provides the inhabitants with a private outdoor space. On the ground floor, a public bike repair shop opens the building towards the street, and the social connection is further enhanced by areas for staying near the entrance.

Amplifying Social Work

The architecture supports the possibility for young socially vulnerable citizens to participate in society in a safe environment, both inside and outside. The youth housing in Nansensgade is designed as a co-living space for socially vulnerable young people, that as part of a rehabilitation program with the Municipality of Copenhagen are in training for living alone. The young people live in the apartments by themselves but are in close contact with the social workers from the municipality, which is located further down the street. In that way, the residents will receive help on how to establish routines that support everyday life, so that they eventually can live by themselves. Initiatives supporting the individual’s learning skills and independence are integrated into the building, such as an individual heating measuring system that gives the residents an understanding of their energy consumption. The youth housing at Nansensgade creates space for diversity in central Copenhagen through the project’s functionality and user group. Here, encounters between different parts of society will happen.

“The house is a huge gain for the residents. The architecture supports the social work practically and the residents, which is a socially vulnerable group of people are very proud of the project”. Says Dorte Nielsen from the Municipality of Copenhagen.

Municipality of Copenhagen
600 m2 / 6 458 ft2
Copenhagen, Denmark
Niels Nygaard
  • Our youth housing in Nansengade received a special mention in the Wellness and Health category for the Architizer Awards 2020.