In Copenhagen’s Harbor, a New Form of Public Space: the “Parkipelago”

Its sole Linden tree acting like a green beacon, CPH-Ø1, a 215-square-foot, hand-made wooden island, floats in Copenhagen’s harbor. Buoyed by a bed of recycled plastic bottles, it could be the first in series of islands forming a “parkipelago” that can better connect Danes to their waterfront.

Parkipelago plan / Copenhagen Islands

The designers of CPH-Ø1 — Australian architect Marshall Blecher and Magnus Maarbjerg of Danish design firm Fokstrot — told Azure magazine the island was purposefully left simple. “It is up to the users of the island to dictate what features it should have.”

CPH-Ø1 / Christian Emdal via Dezeen
Linden tree on CPH-Ø1 / Christian Emdal via Dezeen

But they envision CPH-Ø1 and its successors as destinations for sailors, fishermen, kayakers, and brave swimmers. The islands could play host to small parties or BBQs, or even a tent for an overnight adventure.

And the islands are designed to be mobile. “The islands will be dispatched on suitable locations around the inner harbour, but will also find their way to more forgotten and underused corners, catalyzing life and activity.”

According to the designers, future iterations will include simple platforms, but also “a floating sauna island, gardens, mussel farms, and sail-in café, all free to be explored.” And they could be clustered together for bigger events.

Parkipelago / Copenhagen Islands

Blecher told Dezeen CPH-Ø1 would work well in other cities with harbors as well. “My hometown of Sydney has an enormous and beautiful harbor, but it is dominated by waterside mansions and rows of underused white yachts. Projects like this could help democratize harbors and bring some life back to the water.”

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