EFFEKT renovates and optimizes the energy consumption of Enghavecentret, a residential building complex on the namesake Enghavevej street in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The two original residential concrete apartment blocks dating back to the 1970s presented several challenges: structural flaws and an outdated building envelope caused heath loss and a consequential high energy consumption.
The thorough renovation project wraps the existing building in a new high insulating façade system, which maximizes daylight while also providing the dwelling with new spacious full-width private balconies.
A green rooftop garden is established between the buildings, creating a new communal outdoor space for the residents.
The E/F Enghavecentret complex was originally built in the 1970s as a hotel but due to the oil crises the building was transformed into private apartments, offices and retail.
The program of the building consists of two residential blocks of 140 dwelling units originated from the transformation of the hotel spaces and situated on top of a supermarket plinth.
After almost 50 years of use, the building complex no longer met modern requirements in terms of appearance, comfort and energy consumption. Structural flaws combined with a lack of adequate maintenance over the years made the apartments almost impossible to keep at a comfortable temperature during the winter months.
The starting point of the project was to renovate and improve the building envelope to reduce energy consumption. The existing concrete floor structure continued through the exterior facade and formed the floor of the balconies, creating a thermal bridge and causing extensive heat loss.
The design strategy planned to offset the new façade system to include the existing balcony as part of the interior space, thus eliminating the thermal bridge. The implementation of the floor-to-ceiling insulating façade not only provided improved daylight and acoustic conditions for the apartments, but also, by offsetting the facade by 1.3 meters, it was possible to increase the living space of the studio flat by approximately 20 percent, from previously approx. 38m2 to 46m2. Each apartments received new radiators and heating systems as well as new ventilation system, new fire doors and sound insulation. As a result, the indoor comfort of each apartment improved, and the overall energy consumption dropped.
New galvanized steel balconies were then added for each dwelling unit and attached to the façade. The iconic trapezoidal shape of each balcony is the optimal result of the studies to meet the static requirements in combination with optimized sunlight access to each dwelling - as well as maximum width.
The resulting wavy movement enhanced by the wooden cladding and the natural anodized aluminium of the façade revives the façade and turns the building into an iconic reference point for the neighborhood.
As a further intervention, the short facades of the apartment blocks have also been redesigned. New fire-escape staircase ha been enclosed in a series of vertical anodized aluminium square tubes, continuing the design motif of the balconies in a different form. The residents can now benefit also from a new common recreational space, as the concrete roof of the plinth in between the two residential blocks has been transformed into a new 900 m2 roof garden.
From necessary to iconic
The iconic shape of the balconies is derived from necessity: it is based on studies on daylight optimization for all the dwellers. The trapezoid shapes allow for a full-width balcony for all apartments while preserving maximum daylight. Construction principles as to how to connect the balconies to the existing construction and how to hang them to the façade while minimizing thermal bridges also played a role in the design of the balconies.
The dynamicity of the new design is best perceived while cycling along the busy Enghavevej, as the swift change of perspective makes the wavy balcony volumes of the façade visually shift appearance, animating the urban scene of the whole street.
Lastly, the façade composition is conceived in layers: the horizontal rhythm of the wavy balconies enhances the top volume jutting from the commercial base at the ground floor. The undulated motif of the balconies then inspired the design of the new communal garden on top of the parking.
Improved facade and more space as a bonus.
The original task was to renovate and improve the building envelope to reduce energy consumption and balconies were not included in the client´s original brief.
However, the design team took the chance of the façade renovation to add the balconies as an extra “outdoor room” for the inhabitants to use as the apartments, derived from the 1970s hotel spaces, were very small. By including the previous balcony into the indoor space of the apartment, the living space increased approximately from 38m2 to 46m2.
A thorough renovation with a minimum inconvenience for the dwellers.
Extensive residential renovation projects often imply that the dwellers are forced to move out from the building temporarily while the refurbishment is carried out.
With Enghavecentret instead, it was possible to carry out construction process successfully and with minor inconveniences: in fact, all the inhabitants kept living in the building while it was being renovated.
This result was achieved thanks to a good and thorough communication with all the inhabitants, as well as the careful time-planning of the work schedule, in order to carry out the work within the apartments in a very limited time that did not exceeded a week.
To minimize the inconvenience, a temporary partition wall with a ventilation window was built in each apartment in the proximity of the windows, temporarily separating and isolating the working area from the rest of the apartment.
The windows were installed later, while the balconies were attached from the outside, without accessing the apartments.