the Bakkehusene housing scheme




About 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) to the north west of the city on a slope that faces south east and looks down on and across Copenhagen, this was the first scheme built for KAB (Copenhagen’s Public Housing Association) that had been founded in 1920. The Bakkehusene scheme was designed by Ivar Bentsen and Thorkild Henningsen and completed in 1923. 

There were 171 low-rise houses in short rows running away from a large, tree lined rectangular green that rose up the slope from Hulgårdsvej. The row house was a traditional rural form found in villages and small market towns although a few survive in Copenhagen, notably in Sankt Pauls Gade - some of the earliest houses in the Nyboder area and dating from the early 17th century - and in a short row at the south end of the Frederiksholm Canal.



At Bakkehusene there were two plans of house, one with a central entrance into a stair hall with a small room on either side, each lit by a single window to the front, and with a large room and a scullery or back kitchen to the rear and with a large bedroom in the roof space that is lit by dormer windows front and back along with a small box room. The second plan type had the entrance and staircase on one side, against the cross wall, a large front room with two windows to the front and to the rear two or three small rooms including a kitchen at the centre and a small scullery or wash room. In the attic space there was just one single large room again lit by dormer windows front and back. The houses have front and rear gardens with a small out building including a washhouse in the rear garden.


The rows are built in brick with pantile roofs and the design is well built but restrained with little external decoration apart from a projecting frame of brick headers around the windows although the entrance doors are glazed and wide creating an elegant well-lit entrance.

On the opposite side of Hulgårdsvej are slightly larger row houses with a raised basement that were designed by Thorkild Henningsen. They have front steps up to the entrance and a veranda on the garden side.