Søndergårdspark housing scheme

 

Søndergårdspark was designed by Poul Hoff and Bennet Windinge for the Danish Public Housing Association. Construction started in 1949 and was completed by 1951.

In plan and in appearance, the design of the houses was not groundbreaking - the plans of the single-storey houses can be seen as a fairly straightforward development of the plan and the style of the houses of the Studiebyen housing quarter of 1920-24 or the Bakkehusene housing scheme of 1921-23. A photograph of the green taken shortly after the scheme was completed (below) shows that the architectural features were stripped back, almost stark, and functional although curiously now, with the tress and shrubs mature and softening the setting, the scheme would more probably be described as picturesque.

What is important at Søndergårdspark was the large open public space at the centre, like a village green, with very little space given to private gardens for the houses set around the green … just a small area of planting at the front onto a foot path and a square area at the back without walls or heavy fencing but with shrubs and trees providing some privacy.

This was the first public housing estate to give such prominence to its landscape setting here designed by Aksel Andersen. The area was ostensibly pedestrian. There were narrow service roads but all the houses faced onto a footpath. There was a small parade of shops at the top corner near the main access from Bagsværd Hovedgade - the way to or from the suburban railway station at Bagsværd.

There were three basic forms of house with detached houses on either side of the green although pairs of houses were linked by a wooden structure or shed. There were row houses or short terraces but on a similar plan internally and then, to the west, beyond a service road, short rows of slightly larger family homes of one and a half storeys with attic bedrooms.

All the houses were carefully orientated to take maximum advantage of the sun with access from a footpath across the north side of each short row and main rooms facing south. 

 

October 2015

The row houses have service rooms in the basement reached by external steps

The one-and-a-half storey houses with attic bedrooms in rows on the west side of the scheme