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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”

Says Social Mayor, Jesper Christensen (S).

The efficient infill holds nine small apartments for socially vulnerable citizens. The building site is only 10 meters wide. We turned this physical limitation of the architecture into a design quality, as only two apartments on each floor gives the young inhabitants a sense of privacy, while also giving them the security of being part of a community. Each apartment in the youth housing has its own 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 has a relief motive; 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 difference in height between the surrounding buildings, and provide the inhabitants with a private outdoor space. At the ground floor, a public bike repair shop opens up the building towards the street and the social connection is further enhanced by areas for stay near the entrance.

The architecture amplifies the social work

The architecture supports, both inside and outide, the possibility for young socially vulnerabel citizens to participate in society in a safe environment. 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 lives in the appartements by themselves, but are in close contact with the social workers from the municipality of Copenhagen, that is located further down the street. In that way the residents will receive help on how to establish an everyday life and create rutines, so that they once can live by themselves. Initiatives supporting the individuals learning skills and independence are integrated in the building, such as individual heating measuring system that gives the residents an understandment of their own 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 in a practical way 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.

Sustainable ambitions in the youth housing

In the project we have worked with issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the project was not designed to address the global goals, as it was created before the goals were adopted by the UN. We have worked with issues related to: SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8: Decent jobs and economic growth, SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities and SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals.

Municipality of Copenhagen
600 m2
Copenhagen, Denmark
Niels Nygaard
  • Our youth housing in Nansengade recieved a special mention in the Welness and Health category, during this year’s Architizer Awards. The project was nominated as an example of healing architecture.