Building homes with spatial qualities on a strict budget is a constraint for all social housing associations operating in Denmark. Due to the present market conditions, this challenge is getting harder to overcome.
The architecture office BIG was commissioned to design ‘Dortheavej Residence’ by the Danish non-profit social housing association Lejerbo in 2013. The five-storey building is located in Copenhagen and offers 66 new homes to low-income citizens realised on a strict budget.
The characteristic winding building is based on a singular prefab structure with housing modules repeating along a curve and stacked to the height of the surrounding buildings. The stacking creates additional space for each apartment to have a small terrace, providing a setting for healthy, sustainable living. The building creates space for a public plaza towards the street as well as an intimate green courtyard. On the streetlevel, the building opens up to allow the residents and the general public to pass seamlessly into the courtyard.
All materials are kept very simple with wood and concrete in light colours dominating inside and out. Long wooden planks cover the façade on all sides, highlighting the modules and accentuating the checkered pattern by alternating the direction of the planks.