Hedehusene, Denmark

Suburb of the future will give space and freedom to prospective residents

The metropolitan region of Copenhagen is very popular as a place to live and work. Various urban renewal projects and a direct connection to Sweden via the Øresund Bridge ensure that the region will grow strongly, both demographically and economically. As a result, there is a constant demand for new and high-quality residential areas a short distance from the city of Copenhagen. The city has itself realised several plans for new construction in recent years. The surrounding municipalities, meanwhile, also make up a part of the changes, including the search for new residential areas. Karres en Brands, together with Arkitema, amongst others, has performed a designed investigation into the ‘suburb of the future’ nearby the small town of Hedehusene.

Hedehusene is conveniently located with respect to Copenhagen, with good access via several highways and a speedy train connection. The assignment asked for the realisation of a vigorous housing programme as part of the existing city on an area of 63 hectares. For the project, a multidisciplinary team was assembled, composed of experts in the fields of architecture, urbanism, landscape, engineering, social aspects, economic planning, and development strategies.

The team developed a strategic plan aimed at achieving a unique quality of living as complement to the already existing suburbs around Copenhagen. For this, unequivocal use has been made of the exceptional landscape characteristics of the hilly Hedeland. Besides that, the plan establishes that future residents are (partially) responsible for the development of the area themselves, including at the level of the residential block and the individual home, among other things. Herein, the future occupants are permitted as much freedom as possible in realising their dream house in the vicinity of diverse social and commercial functions.

Within a fixed main structure of roadways, prospective residents will be offered a great amount of autonomy through a wide variety of building block sizes and typologies. In this, the space to experiment with new forms of housing and innovative building materials is provided. Uniting elements of the plan include a sustainable water system—that makes use of natural shifts in elevation—and a dense network of bicycle and walking paths. In addition, the planning area will be connected with the existing city by a ‘ring’ of public spaces, wherein a place of exchange with existing schools and shops will be found. In this way, the new development contributes to a social and scenic impulse for the city as a whole.


Construction photos Naerheden

Project data
Location ​Hedehusene, Denmark Google Maps
Assignment ​Development strategy and development plan
Size ​63 hectare
Design ​2014 – 2015
Construction ​2017 – 2027
Status ​In progress
Client ​Nærheden, RealDania, City of Hedehusene
Collaboration (competition phase)

Arkitema Architects, Everyday Studio, Orbicon, VIA trafik, Social Action, Blue Bakery, Open Air Neighbourhood, Smith Innovation amongst others

Collaboration (realisation phase)

Arkitema Architects, Everyday Studio, Orbicon, VIA trafik, Esbensen


WAN Urban Challenge (2018)
WAF Award Future Projects - Masterplanning (2016)

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