From the very initial conceptualization of this office building, the client, the advisors and the contractors all agreed that the building should be a Danish and international beacon for inclusive architecture: the world’s most accessible office building. The goal was to create a beautifully built work environment, within the average cost of construction for an office building, while still being accessible. This required innovative ways of thinking and new ways of designing. The aim was also to create unique solutions, that can be implemented in other buildings. The project to serve as a model example with accessibility fully integrated into equal solutions in the building as well as in the interior design, furniture and signage, wayfinding and communications – the basic idea being that good accessibility is necessary for some and good for everyone.
In 2012, the majority of the member organizations of Disabled People’s Organizations Denmark (DPOD) moved into this very office building in Høje Taastrup, outside of Copenhagen. Here, 300 employees and visitors are able to move around and work on equal terms – whether they have a disability or not, and regardless of the nature of their disability. The building continues to a beacon for inclusive architecture, though not a symbol of status quo. Instead, the House of Disabled People’s Organizations can be perceived as a dynamic laboratory for the ongoing development of new and innovative solutions that ensure an equal working life.
In a broader social perspective, this approach contributes to create an inclusive labour market, where everyone can join in and where no one is prevented from participating because of physical barriers. People with disabilities want to live an active and independent life. This becomes possible when society is accessible and designed for everyone.