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Holl Designs “Shaking Hand” Towers for Copenhagen

December 17, 2008

By Tim McKeough

This fall, Steven Holl Architects won an international competition to design The LM Project, a significant oceanfront development in Copenhagen, Denmark. Envisioned as a gateway for arriving ships, Holl’s scheme consists of two mixed-use towers on opposite sides of an entry to the city’s harbor. The towers are connected by a walkway that soars 213 feet above the water, providing clearance for boat traffic.

The LM Project, a significant oceanfront development in Copenhagen, Denmark
The LM Project, a significant oceanfront development in Copenhagen, Denmark
Images courtesy Steven Holl Architects
This fall, Steven Holl Architects won an international competition to design The LM Project in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Project architect Noah Yaffe says each glass tower has a “distinct architectural expression.” The 27-story Langenlinie tower is oriented toward the ocean, while the 24-story Marmormolen tower faces the city.

Both buildings have public decks reached by escalators. From there, elevators transport pedestrians and cyclists up to the entrance to the elevated walkway, which links the buildings at the 17th floor. Consisting of two cable-stayed bridges that project from the towers at slightly different angles, the walkway appears kinked where the two arms meet in midair, evoking a handshake.

Interestingly, the bridge was part of the competition brief. Local regulations require that all new office buildings be located within 600 meters (1,968 feet) of a public transit stop. The Langenlinie tower wouldn’t have met that requirement, but connecting it to the Marmormolen tower brings it within range.

Holl’s winning design was announced on October 31. A construction start date has yet to be set for the project, which is being developed by the government agency CPH City and Port Development, along with the real estate company ATP Ejendomme. A master plan for the area, created by Denmark’s 3XN Architects, requires zoning changes that would pave the way for construction of Holl’s towers.

Currently, his firm has several commissions in Scandinavia, including T-Husene, a mixed-use project in Copenhagen, and Meander, a residential building in Helsinki, Finland. Holl’s Herning Center for the Arts, in Denmark, is now under construction.

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