Nørrehus Common Courtyard Transformation by Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter

Diagonal rhythm creates new space experience

Project Specs


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The project for Ejerforeningen Nørrehus transformed the residents’ common courtyard from being a purely utilitarian space to being oriented towards leisure and community. The first stage dealt with all the surfaces, new planting and playground. The Second phase dealt with a new house for the common facilities including, room for prams, the house keeper, and waste and recycling.

▼公共庭院与内部建筑,the common courtyard and the building  ©Johansen Skovsted


The transformation is financed by the surplus on the housing association’s maintenance budget and has only been feasible by keeping the previously paved areas. Therefore, the original contours of the courtyard still stand, but with a new outline, which gives an interesting tension between new and old, straight lines and curved. The polluted urban ground, which is expensive to dispose of, has been used to create the hilly landscape covered with new topsoil, and traversed by two diagonal paths in oversized standard concrete slabs connecting the courtyards different functions.

▼采用大块混凝土的对角线小路,diagonal path in oversized standard concrete slabs  ©Johansen Skovsted


▼朝向庭院的一面覆盖反光镜面,延伸了绿色景观的体验,the side facing the courtyard is clad in mirrors with espaliers expanding the experience of the green landscape  ©Johansen Skovsted

▼回收站入口,entrance to room for recycling  ©Rasmus Norlander

▼通向存放推车房的入口,covered entrance to room for prams ©Rasmus Norlander

▼保护构件用板材覆盖,支撑构架重复着对角线韵律,insulated parts are covered in external boards with an espalier repeating the rhythm of the diagonal braces  ©Rasmus Norlander(up)©Johansen Skovsted(down)

An existing glass covered steel structure is enclosed by a new wooden structure turned inside out, exposing the structural members, to make the pavilion reminiscent of a garden pavilion rather than a garbage shed. The rhythmic structure coheres the building yet breaks it down into smaller segments, not to appear too big. The workshop roof opens towards the sky through a standard circular skylight, exposing a beam for suspending machines for reparation. Alterations to the structure add variation to the volume. A recess creates a cover in front of the room for prams. Insulated parts are covered in external boards, with an espalier repeating the rhythm of the diagonal braces. The side facing the courtyard is clad in mirrors with espaliers, expanding the experience of the green landscape.

▼工作坊屋顶通过一个正圆天窗向天空开敞,the workshop roof opens towards the sky through a standard circular skylight  ©Johansen Skovsted

▼存放推车的房间,room for prams  ©Johansen Skovsted

▼回收处理站,room for recycling  ©Johansen Skovsted

▼场地中泉井分布,site plan of wells

▼地形和再利用土地,topography, reused soil

▼移除的沥青分布,removed asphalt

▼改造后场地平面,site plan after transformation


▼构造细部,structure detail

Transformation of common courtyard
Location: Nørrebro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Year of construction, landscape: 2014
Year of construction, building: 2016
Client: Ejerforeningen Nørrehus
First phase in collaboration with architect Sidse Hald
Engineer: Okholm ApS
Contractors: Sven Bech A/S and Kjell Pedersen A/S

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