Dorte Mandrup selected to design Centre for Diabetes in a historic part of Copenhagen

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Dorte Mandrup together with Bisgaard Landskab, A.B. Clausen and Spangenberg & Madsen have been announced winners in the tender to design the new Centre for Diabetes in De Gamles By in Copenhagen. Located by the entrance to this pocket of the past, the architecture will encourage and support a change of lifestyle, while the aim of re-using bricks will create a visual connection between the new and the old.

De Gamles By (City of the Elderly), was built in 1892 and is a small area of high architectural quality hiding between the buzzing streets of Nørrebro and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. It was created as a hospital, and anyone who has taken a stroll in the gardens between the characteristic buildings has felt the sense of history. Today the area can pride itself on both great architecture, green areas, a sheepfold and the Copenhagen Centre for Cancer and Health. Soon, yet another building will be added to the collection, when the future Centre for Diabetes opens. The centre will be placed by the entrance to De Gamles By, creating an interesting context; both historically and architecturally.

As one of the first efforts of the project, we are going to explore the possibilities of building in timber and re-using bricks from rundown structures on site.

The production of a ton of new bricks emits 258 kilos of CO2, while re-use only emits 2,7 kilos, and the sustainability case is supported by aesthetic arguments, as it acts as a connection between the new and old. Already back in 2009, we reused old bricks in Bordings Friskole on Østerbro, where the new walls bare inscriptions dating all the way back to the 1940s – an interesting link between the historical and the new buildings.

The floor area is approximately 3000 m2, while the recreational living and exercising zone will be 800 m2. Centre for Diabetes will consist of classrooms, a café area, a kitchen, a gym, and a recreational outdoor area. “We want to create a house and urban space, where everyone feels welcome, and where new communities can form. Both indoor and outdoor, we have a strong focus on creating architecture, which encourages movement, a healthy lifestyle and spontaneous meetings. It is important, that the architecture supports an active, social lifestyle,” says Dorte Mandrup, Founder and Creative Manager

The project has been initiated by the City of Copenhagen and will meet the growing demand for rehabilitation for Copenhageners with type-2 diabetes. Diabetes is one of the fastest-growing chronic diseases in the world, and the total number of Copenhageners with type 2 diabetes is expected to increase from the current approximately 20,000 to 33,000 by 2045.

The centre is expected to open in 2023.