Superkilen Urban Park

Project: Superkilen
Copenhagen, Denmark
Urban Park
355,000 SQ FT

Year Completed: 2012

Architect: BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group

Project Partners: TOPOTEK 1, Superflex

Project Summary: Superkilen is a 355,000 square foot urban park in Copenhagen. It was designed through an intense public participation process with the surrounding community, representing the voices of more than 60 nationalities in one of the most ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods in Denmark. The project includes a variety of features to support physical activity and community gathering, including swings, monkey bars, a boxing ring, slides, punching bags, skateboard ramps, and a bicycle lane that runs through the entire site. Superkilen encourages adults and kids alike to be more active while celebrating the diversity of the neighborhood. This project was awarded the 2013 AIA National Award for Regional & Urban Design.

The park is conceptually divided into three different zones of activity: the Red Square is an area for sports, cultural activities, and a weekly marketplace; the Black Square is the “urban living room” where locals can meet and play chess or backgammon; and the Green Park is a green landscape and playground where families with children can meet for picnics, sunbathing, and breaks in the grass.

The design team commented that the impetus for including health-promoting strategies in the project was to create a dynamic, public space for the neighborhood. A space that includes opportunities for physical activity is a way to keep the community engaged and not only do the bike paths, boxing rings, slides and monkey bars promote physical health, but they also promote a healthy community.

Active Design Highlights:

  1. Superkilen accommodates a diverse range of ages, interests, and abilities with activities ranging from highly active sports (e.g. basketball, boxing, biking), to more leisurely activities (e.g. picnicking, chess, shopping at the weekly market.)
  2. The site encourages bicycling. Well-marked bike lanes and a variable terrain help minimize conflicts between cyclists and other park users.
  3. The public participation process ensured that the space is responsive to the many cultures represented in the neighborhood. In an area that is known for its wealth of diverse nationalities, the park has become a peaceful meeting ground where everyone can feel proud of their cultural heritage and participate in group activities. According to the project's design team: "No matter where you’re from, what you believe, and which language you speak, it is always possible to play football together."

Images courtesy of BIG. Additional project information is available here.

  • User Side Images Image 218
    Images courtesy of BIG, Iwan Baan and Jens Lindhe
  • User Side Images Image 219
    Images courtesy of BIG, Iwan Baan and Jens Lindhe
  • User Side Images Image 220
    Images courtesy of BIG, Iwan Baan and Jens Lindhe