During march 2016, I attended a seminar about circular economy in building, organised by NCC, a big scandinavian building firm, and Orbicon, an engineering society. I learned a lot of intersting things.

multidisciplinary approach

Attendees were divided in groups with various backgrounds (nationalities and skills : engineers and architects, along with anthropologs and futur start-upers). We were asked to propose a project for an old warehouse.

  • What to do with this old building ?
  • How to integrate it in a larger urbanism ?

Here, one can understand how powerfull the danish groupwork and multidisciplinary approach is. Each one could provide thoughts, reflexions, comments which feed the debate, technically and socially.

The architect prefer this one solution for its quality, while the engineer says it will be impossible to insulate. The start-uper likes the cool and underground side of the building, but he is also much more concerned about economics : the place is perfect as a start-up incubator. We now had our aim and some guiding lines (budget, conditions in which teh building can be used, etc).

The different projects

The projects presented by the six different groups look alike a lot. But each group set the focus on something different : social, economics, architecture.

The general idea was to install light structures inside the warehouse, and use those during the lifetime of the project.

There was also an important urbanistic element : what function should we give the building (cultural site, social, dwellings ?) and how to integrate this in the larger site (the project is quite remote, aside from central Copenhagen, but there are already a few activities in the surrounding : restaurant, climbing hall and concerts halls).


Our project foccused on evolution, strategy to use with the building.

So we got this project, with the aim it can be self-sufficient on a financial side, past the first bet.

The first step is to clean the building, set some wooden structures. Those are self-insulated, with networks (water, electrical, internet, etc). The roof gets opened with velux-type roof-windows. This allows to have our first inhabitants : start-ups, with cheap rents.

After a few years, the project can enlarge to the two side-buildings. The aim there is to provide services to the neighborhood. We plan that some inhabitants come and settle there, attracted by the creative and underground surrounding (start-ups and concert halls). The warehouse changes destination to a more social/cultural function : school, library, associations.

At the end, the building could became a meeting point to local peoples.

NB : Illustrations come from our project. They are the work of Magnus Reffs Kramhoft, currently working in the famous danish architect office Henning Larsen.

Personal results

I could check I am quite good in «professional» danish, as I could understand the main plot of the seminar, as well as most details. It is rather fun to understand that a good part of talking is useless. It is cosmetic, pretiness.

I have also a beautiful diploma.