Israels Plads


Architects: COBE + Sweco Architects
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Year: 2014
Area: 12,500 m2
Photography: Rasmus Hjortshøj - COAST

The history of Israels Plads (Israel’s Square) reflects the history of Copenhagen’s transformation. This central plaza stands where the city once ended in a ring of protective fortifications. As the city gradually extended, the plaza became a vibrant market square – until the 1950s, when it was turned into a lifeless carpark.

The idea with the new Israels Plads is to celebrate the significance and the history of of the site and revitalize it, turning it into a vibrant, diverse plaza for all kinds of people and activities. The surface of the new plaza is elevated above the existing street level, like a new urban carpet. It hovers over the many cars that used to dominate Israels Plads, which have been moved undergroun.

The cars have been literally swept under the new urban carpet. The plaza is programmed as a diverse public space for leisure, culture, activity, and public events.

In addition, the new plaza has opened up to the historical landscape next door: H.C. Ørstedparken. A few of the large trees and water elements from the park continue into the plaza, creating a transition between city and nature.

Client: City of Copenhagen
Engineer: Niras
Contractor: Barslev
Artistic decorations: Professor Morten Stræde