Groundbreaking ceremony for the revolutionary new Marmormolen office building

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Monday saw the start of work on Marmormolen, a groundbreaking new building. It is revolutionary because its structure will be entirely in wood. Wood to be exact.

The city had to be persuaded, but after discussions with the architects, the 28,000 m² eight-storey commercial building – which will house the new offices of AP Pension – was approved.

Indeed, when architects Henning Larsen first approached the city with the project, it was turned down. The simple reason was that never before in Denmark had such a large wooden building been built – and the authorities fear there is a massive fire risk.

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Sustainability first
It was important for the client and the designer to make sustainability a priority.

“Today, it is imperative that architecture challenges our usual notion of structure and materials. The construction industry is a major emitter of CO2, so we also have great opportunities to improve things,” said Søren Øllgaard, partner and design director at Henning Larsen.

Wood, unlike concrete, stores embodied carbon. This means that by replacing the structural concrete with wood, the structure will embed tons of carbon instead of emitting it.

Also, the wood will come from Europe – probably from neighboring countries like Germany or Sweden.

More than just a workplace
Marmormolen was designed as a marketplace of ideas and its ground floor as an open extension of the public waterfront. The same ground floor will house facilities for tenants such as a large canteen and an auditorium. The latter will also serve as a public restaurant and location for theaters and flea markets.

From the upper levels, workers will be able to enjoy sweeping views of the sky, sea and Copenhagen skyline. The center of the building will host a large courtyard with greenery and good sun exposure.

“Workplaces used to be very indoor and exclusive, but today people want to feel like they are part of a more diverse community and open to their environment,” said Mikkel Eskildsen, design director partner and main architect of the project.

“With Marmormolen we want to create more than just a large office building, we also want to give something back to the city and bring the building to life – even outside office hours”,

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