Sønderborg Harbor Masterplan
Gehry Partners, LLP
Last week Frank Gehry presented his first Masterplan in Northern Europe to the city of Sønderborg.
The Sønderborg Harbor Masterplan proposes to transform the
former industrial waterfront into a vibrant urban development by
creating a sense of density and activity, focused around an Urban
Square. The development extends along the waterfront and
incorporates landscape parks, mixed-use areas, residential and
office buildings, a hotel, recreation facilities, and cultural
The focal point of the revitalized urban waterfront is the four
buildings at the corners of the Urban Square. The Kunsthalle and
Cinema are located on the city side of the Urban Square to carry
the activity that connects the Urban Square with the historic city.
The Hotel and the office building are located at the water side of
the Urban Square to mediate between the smaller-scale historic
buildings of Sonderborg and the larger-scale hospital and
By concentrating the new development around the Urban Square, it allows for a lower-density distribution of the office and residential buildings. This approach maximizes open space for culture and recreation and allows the continuation of the existing landscape as an Urban Park along the waterfront.
The development is unified by a series of unique landscape spaces, creating a series of Urban Parks. These parks are linked by the Harborfront Promenade which extends the north end as a pedestrian bridge, completing the waterfront promenade and connecting both sides of the harbor.
When Gehry Partners approached the project in 2006 they immediately produced several schemes for the site that reflected the multiple ways to address the urban and architectural challenges.
The schemes were presented in the form of physical models, 3d computer models, and diagrams. The multiple options shown provoked discussions to assist the Harbor Company with refining their needs and goals.
Gehry Partners also worked closely with Landscape Architect
Melinda Taylor to establish an integrated urban and landscape
vocabulary that is at once ecological, functional, and animated,
and is conceived to meet the outdoor and recreational needs of
Sønderborg's current and future inhabitants.
The presentation exhibition will be on view at arcspace Gallery in Second Life.
Facts about Sønderborg Harbor Masterplan
Gehry Partners, LLP
Partner in Charge:
Principal Project Team:
Melinda Taylor and Associates
Melinda Taylor, ASLA
Erik Rieder, Associate
Sønderborg Harbor Company
Last updated: December 19, 2013