In May 2017, Danish architects COBE completed the transformation of The Silo; a 17-story former industrial building converted into a 38 unit residential apartment with event and dining facilities on the upper and lower levels.
The Silo Apartments Project Information
- Architects: Cobe Architects
- Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
- Client: Klaus Kastbjerg and NRE Denmark
- Topics: Urban Apartments, Galvanized Steel, Balconies
- Size: 10,000 m2
- Engineers: Balslev and Nordconsult
- Contractors: NRE Denmark
- Project Year: 2013-2017
- Photographs: © Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST
We wanted to retain the spirit of The Silo as much as possible – both in terms of its monolithic exterior and majestic concrete interior, by simply draping it with a new overcoat. The aim was to transform it from the inside out in such a way that its new inhabitants and the surrounding urban life would highlight the structure’s identity and heritage. Hence, the use of galvanized steel for the facade, which patinates in a raw way and retains the original harbour character and material feel, lending a roughness and raw beauty to the area, as in its industrial past.
– Dan Stubbergaard, COBE founder
The Silo Apartment Building Photographs
Text by the Architects
The Silo is part of Copenhagen’s Nordhavn (North Harbour) transformation – a vast post-industrial development currently being transformed into a new city district. Designed by Danish architects COBE with clients Klaus Kastbjerg and NRE Denmark, a 17-story former grain silo and the largest industrial building in the area has been transformed into “The Silo,” housing residential apartments and public functions.
To bring The Silo’s industrial concrete facade up to current standards, the exterior of the existing silo has been recladded. In contrast, the interior has been preserved as raw and untouched as possible. An angular faceted exterior facade made of galvanized steel has been installed to serve as a climate shield. This has allowed the building’s characteristic slender tall shape to be maintained.
Private housing and public functions ensure that the building remains active all day. The public functions at the top and bottom also ensure a multidimensional experience for the various users of the building. From the top you can see almost all of Copenhagen in one panoramic view. It is completely unique, and something all Copenhageners will have the chance to experience. The Silo will be inhabited, but will also be a destination. An urban focal point for the new development at Nordhavn.
– Dan Stubbergaard
The spatial variation within the original silo is immense due to the various functions of storing and handling grain, creating space for 38 unique apartments. Single and multi-level apartments range from 106 m2 to 401 m2 in size, with floor heights of up to 7 meters. All apartments have panoramic, floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, and several have been preserved in raw concrete. The window frames are hidden on the outside of the existing concrete walls, offering expansive views of the city skyline and the Oresund coast.
Both the top and lower levels have public access. The top floor consists of a mirrored glass box housing a public restaurant with a 360-degree view of the city and the sea. The glass facade mirrors the surroundings in the daytime, and at night it is reminiscent of a lantern. The ground floor is designed as a flexible event space.
By revitalizing our industrial heritage, we discover new potential and highlight historical traces in our cities. They represent a built resource. They represent our history. By doing so, we can transform what many people today perceive as industrial trash into treasure.
– Dan Stubbergaard