New Life to Old Industrial Silo in Copenhagen, Denmark by COBE

September 8, 2014

COBE – The transformation of Nordhavnen in the Copenhagen Harbor is well under way. Some of the harbor’s old industrial buildings will be preserved in the new neighborhood – among them are the old silos.

The tallest one is now being transformed into housing and public functions. Union Holding represented by Klaus Kastbjerg owns the silo and is responsible for the transformation. The project is called “The Silo” and is designed by Danish firm COBE who is also the architects behind the urban development plans for Nordhavnen.

The 62 meters and 17-storey tall transformed silo will become a natural point of orientation in Copenhagen’s new neighborhood. The demands for storage and handling of grain has led to magnificent spatial variation floor by floor. This will result in 40 different apartments, stackedon top of each other within the existing silo structure with floor heights of up to 8 meters and in sizes from 80 m2 up to 800 m2, in either one or two levels.

Each apartment has large panoramic windows and balconies with views overlooking the Copenhagen skyline and Oresund. The silo’s original structure will be a visual element in all apartments.

Klaus Kastbjerg says: ”The Silo is a well-known building to many Copenhageners and is an icon in Nordhavnen.

Furthermore, the silo is the largest industrial building in Nordhavnen and it has a majestic slenderness. It is a landmark in the industrial landscape – right where Oresund meets Copenhagen. The exciting thing about old industrial property is how to preserve their soul and at the same time use them for something else, when the original use is terminated.

With this project we want to maintain the familiar identity of the silo and at the same time renew and transform it into a modern landmark for Nordhavnen”.

Dan Stubbergaard, Founder and Creative Director at COBE, continues: ”The architectural concept for the transformation of The Silo is about using the original potential, and preserve and enhance the distinctive character of the silo. With the transformation, the silo will be wrapped in a new facade that upgrades the former industrial building to current standards. However, the existing interior of the silo will be preserved as much as possible and the raw industrial architecture will be
a visible element.

So, apart from unique views and ultra-modern apartments, the new inhabitants will also have one of a kind spatiality with historic remnants such as visible concrete columns and walls”. As a special feature both the ground floor and the top floor of the silo will be used for public purposes such as exhibitions, events, conferences and a restaurant.

Dan Stubbergaard elaborates: ”The transformation of the silo consists of two parts: private housing and public functions. These functions together ensure that the building remains active all day, and furthermore, the public functions at the top and bottom ensures a multidimensional experience for the various users of the building. From the top you can see almost all of Copenhagen in one large panorama. It is completely unique and something all Copenhageners will have the possibility to experience.

The Silo will be inhabited, but will at the same time also be a destination for all Copenhageners; a kind of urban silo. Thereby we ensure that the silo becomesa kick-starter and a milestone for the future development of Nordhavnen”.

The Silo is expected to be completed at the end of 2016.


About The Silo:
Place: Nordhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Union Holding by Klaus Kastbjerg
Architects: COBE
Engineers: Wessberg og Alectia
Program: Transformation of existing grain silo into housing and public functions
Size: 8.500 m2 (91,493 sqf)
Status: Ongoing, completed end of 2016
Images: COBE and Rasmus Hjortshøj
Web pages: and

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