Langelands Square

Climate proofing the city
At first glance, it may look like nothing more than an attractive city plaza, but the new Langelands Square is more than that. It is a place to pause and play, a space for ballgames, and a guard against climate effects; underneath it, a three-storey carpark provides safe and easily accessible parking.

Located in a busy area of Frederiksberg, an independent municipality within the city of Copenhagen, the new Langelands Square allows locals to pause, enjoy the soft babble of the water fountain, and let the children splash about in the large paddling pond. But the area is also Denmark’s first climate changeproofed and -abating square. The permeable surface not only helps secure the area against storms and flooding while cleaning surface water for pollutants, thanks to special nitrogen oxide absorbing tiles, it also improves air quality.

The plan for the underground carpark, allowed us to be very progressive in the way we worked with the sub-surface. The surface is permeable, and, underneath it, a large spongelike structure accumulates the surplus sur face water from the surrounding area, stores it, and then slowly releases it in a way that means the fluid evaporates, cools the surface, and helps improve the
air quality.

Out of sight, below the ballpark, play area, and paddling pool, the square’s three-storey carpark is intended to facilitate a less cluttered and calmer city landscape. Through bright light and music, the underground space is designed to, at one and the same time, make its users feel safe and comfortable while deterring troubled characters from repurposing the space for unwelcome activities. Above it all, ivy-covered stair towers rise into the square bringing daylight into the underground and integrating the structure into the other green elements of the square.