BIG’s prefab modular residence in Copenhagen

designed by BIG in Copenhagen for Lejerbo. Photography: Rasmus Hjortshoj

The bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) has designed an apartment block in Copehagen for the non-profit social housing association Lejerbo, which leases accommodation to low-income residents. The prefabricated, modular design, covered with wood planks, opens up small balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows, creating a new model of affordable housing that promotes health.

designed by BIG in Copenhagen for Lejerbo. Photography: Rasmus Hjortshoj

This 5-storey building is located north of Copenhagen and is named after its street Dortheavej. From the 1930s to the 1950s, it featured auto repair shops, warehouses, and industrial buildings. In 2013, the Danish Nonprofit Affordable Housing Association commissioned BIG to design and renovate Dortheavej, drafted by Danish urban space designer Jan Gehl.

designed by BIG in Copenhagen for Lejerbo. Photography: Rasmus Hjortshoj

Lejerbo was founded by Danish urban space designer Jan Gehl with a mission to bring “a home for all.” In 2013, the Danish Housing Association asked the team to create an apartment building that can enhance the atmosphere of the neighborhood through public spaces and provide a healthy house for all through good design; and a strict budget.

designed by BIG in Copenhagen for Lejerbo. Photography: Rasmus Hjortshoj
designed by BIG in Copenhagen for Lejerbo. Photography: Rasmus Hjortshoj

Affordable housing is an architectural challenge due to the necessary budget constraints. The use of modular buildings can effectively reduce budgets and create spacious living spaces at the city and residential scale. The use of prefabricated components can quickly increase the height of the room, making the living area extremely spacious. Financial constraints often lead to housing shortages, but in Dortheavej, this construction project successfully created added value for the community.

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