Ku.Be House of Culture in Movement: A New Typology


Architects: ADEPT and MVRDV
Location: Frederiksberg, Denmark
Area: 4.000 m2
Year: 2016
Photography: Adam Mørk

The 4,000 m2 Ku.Be House of Culture in Movement was designed for the municipality of Frederiksberg as a focal point for both the immediate community and also the wider area of Copenhagen, one that the people themselves could take ownership of and that would evolve its program based on the specific wants and needs of its users. The project is a new typology, responding to a brief that solely asked for a building that would bring people together and improve the quality of life. In reply, ADEPT and MVRDV answered with a building that blends theatre, sport and learning into a space where body and mind are activated to promote a more healthy life for everyone, regardless of age, ability or interest, creating links between people who might not otherwise connect with one another.   

The six primary volumes, each with their own program, are clad in a unique color and material, clearly defining them within the whole; from the outside, these shapes are implied in the fragmented tile façade.

The route through the building focuses on developing and encouraging alternate forms of movement. The Labyrinth gets people on their hands and knees climbing through a three-dimensional network of cubes from the second to third floors; alternatively they could take the Mousetrap, a vertical maze. A net, which spans several floors throughout the building, lets users climb up from floor to floor – suspended over the voids – and slides and firefighter poles offer a fast way to get back down. To cater for all abilities and ages, both easier and more standard ways of moving around are provided; even then, a visual connection is maintained throughout Ku.Be.

The urban gardens outside form the connection between Ku.Be and the urban realm, playing an important role in expressing the six volumes and the activities happening inside. The diverse landscape – a system of microclimates with changing sounds, lights and scents – blends seamlessly into the interior hill with integrated slides that reach out into the gardens and end in an amphitheater outside.

Acting as an extension of the urban landscape of Frederiksberg and integrating the community, the House of Culture and Movement aims to become an incubator for further development within the neighborhood.