streetscape

Købmagergade

 

Købmagergade is a main street that runs down from Nørreport metro and railway station - or strictly it starts at Nørreport as Fredriksborggade and then after a block and beyond the square called Kultorvet it becomes Købmagergade. It then continues south past the Round Tower and on to meet Strøget - the famous walking street - at the east end of Amagertorv ... that's where Strøget widens out into a long triangular space that has been the main market place of the city since the Middle Ages.

The new paving of Købmagergade is in small smooth stone blocks in various shades of grey with some sections of the street almost completely in dark grey. There are LED lights set into the pavement around the Round Tower - an allusion to the early use of the Tower as an observatory for looking at the stars. Drainage is through long iron grills set into the paving.

Pavements, or at least the convention of stepping up onto a higher level along the sides of the street, have been removed completely and at most shops there is either no step up into the interior or at most a shallow threshold. This is clearly good for easy access but my slight criticism of the scheme is that the paving seems almost too high in its relationship to the facades or rather that the buildings appear to be sinking down slightly into the ground. The interesting gain is that here you can see that the line of a kerb - very much a 20th-century feature that came with the arrival of cars - reinforces a linear character for a street but here, where actually the width of the street does vary, it becomes much more sinuous and fluid as a number of spaces open out and then close in.

The architects for the works were POLYFORM and the Dutch landscape architects Sylvia Karres and Bart Brand - the team that have also just completed the design of the new forecourt of Statens Museum for Kunst.