Copenhagen

 

UKDK Architectural Exchange 29.02.12: Sjællandsgade Bad & The Body Politic

As ever the L’Étranger, our understanding of Sjællandsgade Bad is tainted by our remoteness to Copenhagen. To cleanse our thoughts and explore integration as a thematic proposal, we see Sjællandsgade not as a problem to be solved, but as a space for cumulative collective speculation.

In that guise and as architects, we have sought detachment from the body politic of Copenhagen – to enable speculation to run its course through the dank spaces of the bathouse. But freethinking in itself is a position and no matter how objective we appear to be, all societies view the L’Étranger with suspicion.

 

Genesis
The Sjællandsgade Bad context is formed by the immediacy and adjacency of its neighbourhood building blocks – life and death issues embodied by the cemetery, the school, the church, the bathhouse. There is also the physical community of Nørrebro as well as the intangible, uncanny space of our memories, thoughts and impressions. There is also Facebook, the city authorities and the market.

Then there is the Nordic model and the sensibilities and burdens that that implies which are exposed and juxtaposed in the Carlsberg –Christiania conundrum. Are we to consider the pragmatism of market capitalism set against the perceived laissez-faire of human spirit? As tourists, we see this as the inherent by dynamic instability of the Nordic model.

One response is Superkilen - a global view which is perhaps as powerful as The United Nations of Furniture. But the UNF comprises of 193 pieces and Denmark has just 1 seat alongside Tuvalu.  But there are 5 permanent members of the UNF and the secretary general is an architect? As proponents of integration, tokenism is not perhaps an appropriate response.

 

, And so we come to Genesis. In the case of Sjællandsgade Bad the piazza perhaps is the genesis of a new idea. Its presence has initiated the binding of program and built form through the democratic medium of public ground. It might even help stem the decline of the parish church.

In the piazza we propose the installation of a pavilion – a curatorial space, chill out venue and economic opportunity with an aim to stabilize Sjællandsgade and give patronage and space & time to think. The pavilion is not the solution – it is the means by which a solution may be explored. It is tool for empowerment. Powered by you. The urban space between the pavilion and the Sjællandsgade is where decisions will be made – a kind or hyper boulevard of possibilities. And yes, the aim will be to draw in the cemetery and the neighbouring urban context.
We can all afford time to think.

Ali,Ada. MYAA. Copenhagen . 29.02.2012