Center for Renhold

Copenhagen, Denmark

The most beautiful hole in the city

Hauser Plads lies in the heart of the medieval city centre of Copenhagen. The square is part of the public space around the Købmagergade shopping street, designed by karres+brands and Polyform. The former parking garage underneath Hauser Plads has been transformed into the offices of the municipal cleaning services, and its sunken position forms a hidden gem in the historic core. The project is a good example of reuse (an outdated garage) and dual land use (a playground and the premises of the Cleaning Services Centre) in a historical context.



The Center for Renhold is the new base for the city’s 75 cleaners, and also houses the cleaning vehicles. The amenities include shower facilities, changing rooms, cafeteria, parking, and office functions, along with a conference room. The primary work areas and staff rooms are organised around a sunken patio garden. The curved glass walls of the patio allow maximum daylight into the building and a generous view from the workspace, making the garden an extension of the interior space. The undulating forms of the sunken garden establish a direct connection to the playful landscape above: on the aboveground square is a playground for various day care centres in the immediate vicinity.

The courtyard is planted with different types of vegetation, which change in colour and texture with the seasons. The flagstone paving creates spots for a coffee break, so the patio can also serve as an outdoor workplace. The hidden courtyard offers a constant interplay between inside and outside, between the buildings below and the recreational landscape above—and a lull in the continuous rhythm of the surrounding city. 

Project data
Location ​Copenhagen, Denmark Google Maps
Assignment ​Design transformation of underground parking garage into cleaning services offices
Size ​1,000 m² GFA
Design ​2009
Construction ​2010 – 2012
Status ​Realised
Client ​Municipality of Copenhagen
Budget ​€ 2.5 Mio
Team ​Bart Brands, Sylvia Karres, Charlotte Ernst, Joost de Natris, Anna Sobiech
Joint venture with Polyform Arkitekter (KBP.EU)
Copyright KBP.EU, Ty Stange, Torben Petersen
Award Copenhagen Municipality Architectural Award 2012
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