Copenhagen’s revitalized harborfront has already been used as a model for similar waterfront projects elsewhere in Europe (such as Belfast, Northern Ireland). Now, the waterways themselves are set for new development. A collaborative effort between Australian architect Marshall Blecher and Magnus Maarbjerg of Danish design firm Fokstrot, CPH-Ø1 is a 215-square-foot wooden platform floating in the middle of Copenhagen Harbor. Made by hand from sustainable materials using traditional wooden boat–building techniques, the island is adorned with nothing more than a single linden tree. That simplicity aims to represent an “iconic metaphor for an uninhabited island,” according to the project’s website.
PH-Ø1 is just the first element of the duo’s broader Copenhagen Island Project, a proposed “parkipelago” that would reimagine the definition of public space. Additional islands will act as swimming and fishing platforms, floating saunas, gardens, cafes, and even performance spaces. Renderings suggest that during the spring and summer, the eventual nine platforms of the parkipelago will be spread out and accessible to swimmers and kayakers. In the winter, they’ll be joined into one platform at Sluseløbet so visitors can enjoy the amenities without entering Copenhagen’s chilly waters.
Made possible in part by the Danish arts fund, the project hopes to bring something different to an area increasingly known for flashy residential developments rather than public use. The team sees it as an opportunity to “catalyze life and activity, hopefully giving back a little bit of space for whimsy and wonder.” And coming at a time when urban planners are cognizant of the threat that rising sea levels propose to waterfront areas, it’s a novel, forward-thinking attempt at resilient design. Look for more details (and possible project additions) as Denmark shifts from winter to spring and summer.