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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ku.Be: the surprise building!

Compiled by Team IAnD
Photography: Adam Mork; courtesy MVRDV
Read Time: 2 mins 

MVRDV's Ku.Be exterior where shapes are hinted at in the fragmented tile façade.
MVRDV's Ku.Be exterior where shapes are hinted at in the fragmented tile façade. Image: Adam Mork

Copenhagen’s new cultural hub, Ku.Be is designed to “turn the average experience of a building on its head”!

Ku.Be House of Culture and Movement, a community centre for healthy and fun lifestyle opened its doors on Sept.2, 2016 in Frederiksberg, Denmark.  Designed by MVRDV – a research-based and highly collaborative architecture studio that engages globally in providing solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues, and ADEPT – architecture, planning and landscape design studio, the community space is the first of its typology.

The six primary volumes which make up Ku.Be
The six primary volumes which make up Ku.Be, each with their own programme, are clad in a unique colour and material. Image: Adam Mork

Designed to facilitate both scheduled and spontaneous programmes, the 3200 sq. m. edifice has six primary volumes – each with its distinctive programme; defined by a unique colour and material from within; and hinted at by a fragmented tile facade from without.

Larger spaces suited to hold performances or public meetings
Larger spaces suited to hold performances or public meetings. Image: Adam Mork

Larger volumes are suited to hold performances or public meetings, smaller ones 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. However, in an effort to “encourage the unexpected”, the real fun is targeted at spaces in between the volumes, which cleverly hint at a use and then become entirely user-defined.
 
Indoor sports
Indoor sports. Image: Adam Mork

Action blends theatre, sport and learning for everyone, regardless of age, ability or interest; creating links between people that wouldn’t otherwise connect with each other.
 
Visually connected but diverse interior spaces
Visually connected but diverse interior spaces. Image: Adam Mork

This is intriguingly accomplished by 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 floors throughout the building, lets users climb up from floor-to-floor – suspended over the voids – and slides and fireman poles offer a fast way to get back down. Of course, more standard ways of moving around are also provided; either ways, a visual connected is maintained throughout.
 
Slides forming part of the bulding's labyrinth to get people climbing around the building
Slides forming part of the bulding's labyrinth to get people climbing around the building. Image: Adam Mork

An important contribution is essayed by the urban garden that connects Ku.Be to the urban realm and expresses the eight volumes and the activities happening inside. The diverse landscape - a system of micro-climates with changing sounds, lights and scents provides a variety of interactive environments and ends in an amphitheatre outside. 
 
Net spans several floors throughout the building, letting users climb up from floor-to-floor
Net spans several floors throughout the building, letting users climb up from floor-to-floor. Image: Adam Mork

As Martin Krogh, co-founder ADEPT sums up, “What would otherwise be a simple, mindless journey through the building turns into an exploration and discovery of movement. Here, it’s you that defines the route, however you want: climbing, sliding, crawling … jumping.” Truly turning your average experience of a building on its head!

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