The VM Houses, shaped like a V and an M when seen from above, is the first residential project to be built in Ørestaden; a new quarter of Copenhagen.
The buildings are like a 3 dimensional Tetris game of people's living units./Julien De Smedt, PLOT
The V House
The manipulated perimeter block is clearly defined in its four corners but opened internally and along the sides. The vis-à-vis with the neighbor is eliminated by pushing the slab in its center, ensuring diagonal views to the vast open fields around. The building volume provides optimal air, light and views to all flats. Balconies jut out like rows of jagged shark's teeth on the south side.
All apartments have a double-height space to the north, and wide
panoramic views to the south. Access to the apartments is via
exterior walkway connected to one of the three stair and elevator
towers, placed at either end, and in the break of the V.
The M House
The logic of the diagonal slab utilized in the V house is broken down in smaller portions for the M house. In this project the typology of the unite d'habitation of Le Corbusier is reinterpreted and improved: The central corridors, connecting all floors and apartments, are short and get light from both ends - like bullet holes penetrating through the building.
As the first residential complex in the area it was important
for the architects to create an inviting environment. To leave room
for life around the buildings they lifted the V House on five meter
high columns, opening the courtyard to the park area on the south
side, and broke down the facades with niches and angles, creating a
series of informal meeting places.
/Julien De Smedt
We live in a world where individualism has a larger resonance than previously. Diversity is well accepted, even desired. People who live in a housing complex should have the same access to individuality.
VM took shape based on an initial rendering of the simplest configuration for the square building site, bordered by two canals, one rectangle at each end of the block with a courtyard space in between.
To orient all the apartments toward the landscape, and take
advantage of both evening and morning sun entering the courtyard,
the architects angled the first building which ensured a different
form for the building next to it.
The VM buildings were awarded the Forum prize in February 2006. The prize, awarded by the architecture and design magazine Forum, is given to the best Nordic building or interior design.
Our task as architects was to make the best of what we discovered. We have been rational in relation to the space available. Instead of idealizing the practical, we have chosen to optimize the actuality.
Bjarke Ingels (BIG) and Julien De Smedt (JDS) collaborated on a
project, dubbed the Mountain, located adjacent to VM. Like its
neighbor, Mountain is predicated on making the best available use
of the peculiar requirements of the site. In this case the
apartments are to be built on top of a massive parking structure
(which will also service the VM Houses). The result is a huge
half-pyramid with 11 stories of cascading terraced
Facts about VM Houses
114 housing units
40 different apartment shapes
Total area: 12,500 square meters
95 housing units
36 different apartment shapes
Total area: 12,500 square meters
PLOT = JDS + BIG
Moe & Brødsgaard A/S
Høpfner A/S & Danish Oil Company A/S
Last updated: March 31, 2015
North Adams, Massachusetts, USA
New Haven, Connecticut, USA