Business travellers know how mind-numbingly boring conference centers can be. Now Copenhagen boosts one that turned into a tourist attraction. Let's hope other cities follow suit.
I take the swish new Copenhagen Metro to the jaw-dropping Bella Sky Comwell Hotel. The building was added to the Bella Conference Center in 2010 and has completely recharged the area between downtown Copenhagen and the airport.
Danish architecture often backs down. Generally, it is refined and it refrains from causing a scene. Not so the Bella Sky Comwell Hotel. Its two towers lean outwards away from each other. It is a mind-boggling sight. The jagged lines of windows tearing into the skin of the building make it almost disconcerting. They have a women-only floor, but they also need a cowards-only floor with no windows where you do not have to stare out, trying to work out how the thing even stands up.
Danish architecture seems to strike a chord anywhere around the world right now. Why are Danish architects on fire? I ask Kim Herforth Nielsen of 3XN Architects who designed this very building.
“It is due to the high level of competition within Danish architecture and design,” he says. “You might compare it to the restaurant business where you saw a trend that started with Noma and suddenly you had a new Nordic cuisine. In the same way, we have really good architects in Copenhagen which raise the standard and level of creativity. Lastly, there has also been a desire and an intention from the politicians to develop the city in new ways. The sum of all of these parts leads to a higher standard of design.”
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