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Ku.Be House of Culture in Movement

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 specifc 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 one 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 that would not otherwise connect with each other.
The six primary volumes with each with their own program are clad in a unique colour and material, clearly defining them within the building; from outside these shapes are implied in the fragmented tile façade.
“We designed Ku.Be to encourage the unexpected,”tells ADEPT co-founder Martin Krogh. “Larger volumes are suited to hold performances or public meetings, smaller ones can be for exhibitions or debates. The fast-pace rooms are perfect for dance, or parkour; and Zen rooms give you the contrast of yoga or meditation. It’s between these volumes where the real fun will happen though; spaces where we hint at a use, but which will become entirely user-defined.”
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; or alternatively they could take the Mousetrap, a vertical maze. A net, which spans several  doors throughout the building, lets users climb up from floor to floor – suspended over the voids – and slides and fireflighter poles o er 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 but 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 reaches out into the gardens and ends in an amphitheatre outside. Acting as an extension of the urban landscape of Frederiksberg and integrating the community to such an extent, the House of Culture and Movement looks to become an incubator for further development within the neighbourhood.

ADEPT and MVRDV achieved the project through close collaboration with: Soeren Jensen Engineers who provided the complex structural engineering to support the visionary architecture; SLA landscape architects, who designed the urban garden surrounding Ku.Be; and Max Fordham LLP to achieve environmental comfort throughout the building. Ku.Be was made possible by major contributions by Realdania and LOA (Lokale- & Anlægsfonden).

Project Information:
Name of building: Ku.Be
Architetcure: ADEPT + MVRDV
Landscape architecture: SLA
Engineering: Soeren Jensen
Climate engineering: Max Fordham
Other consultants: Winnie Ricken, Imitio
Concrete: CC Brun
Technical: Bravida
Interior: Jakon
Facade / roof: Fjelsø
Landscape: Skaelskoer Anlaegsgartner
Budget: 140 mill DKK
Year: 2010-2016
Client: Frederiksberg Municipality, Reldania, LOA
Accoustics: Triplex + Rockfon
Lightening, inside: Louis Poulsen, Fagerhult
Lightening, outsid: Igruzzini
Doors: Swedoor
Facades: Trancadis / Schüco
Glass partitions: Deco
Floors: PU Gulve / Monofonfalt
Fixed furniture, playscape: Designed for project / delivered by Jakon
Reception: Designed for project / delivered by Jakon
Ceilings: Triplex + Rockfon
Furniture: Please wait to be seated, Frederica Møbler
Partition walls: Gipsum / delivered by contractor
Roof: Icopal +
Stairs: P I beton
Windows and doors: Schüco
Walls: Painted gipsum / delivered by contractor
Photo: Adam Mørk


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About Project

Ku.Be House of Culture and Movement, an activity hub in Frederiksberg, Denmark, which explores the boundaries between culture, health and movement. The project, designed by ADEPT and MVRDV, is the first of its typology; a community space which also focuses on exploring and developing our most fundamental process, movement. Ku.Be facilitates both fixed and spontaneous programmes. Main volumes define specific tempos of activities, whereas voids are left without a defined use to let users interpret them how they wish and discover new ways to use and get around the building. The activity from inside then spills out into the community as a garden, which will offer a variety of interactive environments.


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