Urban rainbow

Copenhagen sees an urban installation bringing together the city's ethnically diverse and socially challenged neighbourhood.

A rare fusion of architecture and art sees a giant exhibition of urban practice that highlights cultural diversity in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Renowned design firms BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Topotek 1 and SUPERFLEX have joined forces to design and install an array of objects from around the world into an urban space, which runs through the heart of Copenhagen.

Superkilen, being just under a kilometre long, seeks to join the centre of the city to its surrounding areas through a colourful and diverse installation. Welding through one of the most ethnically diverse neighbourhoods, Superkilen is a symbolic representation of the somewhat 60 nationalities inhabiting the area.

Divided into three colour zones, the urban space includes objects of everyday use, sourced from different corners of the globe. From benches to trash cans, lampposts and plants, each object has a stainless steel plate describing the object, as well as where it has come from, next to it. The text is written in both Danish and the language of its origin.

“The Red Square” extends the internal life of the Norrebrohallen sports complex to increase interaction on the outside of the building. By promoting sport and cultural activities, social interaction is encouraged among sportsmen and women, as well as spectators. On weekends the square becomes an urban marketplace attracting city dwellers and visitors from surrounding areas.

“The Black Square”, also known as the Urban Living Room, is solely dedicated to interaction among its users. Aimed at being a place where locals meet and mingle, the area is marked out by a giant neon sign from Qatar. Turkish benches, Japanese cherry trees, Brazilian bar chairs, Argentinean BBQs and Bulgarian picnic tables are highlighted by a UV light drawing special attention to diversity in the area.

“The Green Park” encompasses a number of sports facilities, as well as a playground for children. Taking into account the wish of the city inhabitants for a more natural looking city, the designers made a special effort to add more vegetation. They also painted many manmade objects, such as bicycle racks, in shades of green. The area is home to an American neon sign and picnic area with South African braais, a Spanish ping pong table and an Italian chandelier.

Overall Superkilen is a reproduction of a far away landscape through a common theme, space and time.

Watch the Talk with Bjarke Ingels