Written by Staff Writer
The Copenhagen Metro was not exactly built out of love.
In fact, it was only constructed for the very first time under the leadership of Danish railway organization CTA when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ushered in the Second World War.
Much of the four-decade construction saga involved harsh conditions and the building of underground obstacles — mostly construction workers.
In fact, those are still around today, gracing the new subway stations, but with a very more modern touch.
Up, up and away
Copenhagen architect Ole Scheeren took inspiration from André Malraux’s design of an underground windmill to create a great height station, pictured in the main image, seen from an elevated structure
Ole Scheeren, one of Denmark’s most acclaimed architects, has reinterpreted what is seemingly a straightforward building of steel, glass and concrete.
Scheeren aimed to revitalize the tram route from Vesterbro on the Northern edge of the city center, and modernize the old network, by creating a great height station for the tramway and shuttle links, which gets the tram to other stations.
He’s also decorated the facade with remarkable balconies that give the view a delicious sense of drama and excitement.
The interior too, as with the exterior, is beautiful — with his eye for details.
Just think, if one of the main escalators falls over you’ll be able to literally keep going — thanks to airbags (thanks to the hydrothermal reactions behind it).
When you’re ready to get on your train, one of the sky skylights will fill with natural light, while on your way out, a large roof rack will maximize the amount of light that comes through the sides of the dome — in the middle of the city’s dark streets.
Amazingly, it was only after the building of the Metro in 1968 that the interior of the trains ever had windows and food booths. Since then, most have only had 10cm ceilings to make space for the big couplers.
How it was built
One can still see the bone structure of the subway that was built a century ago. That Subway to Copenhagen, built by Danish transport company Vitride in 1913, still exists today.
The 16-km network went from zero to three stations in three years, leaving a large underground network of no particular clarity.
It was a wobbly place, described by one young man as an “unstable jail”.
“Sometimes there were thirteen cars traveling in circles over a bridge, “he later said.
But in just over 30 years, everything changed.
It was partly thanks to a man known as “the Danish Louis XIV” ( or Droog, French for king) whose vision changed the direction of the nation.
“He understood the need to have a piece of Copenhagen in every part of Denmark,” Scheeren told CNN.
Since he died in 1927, his “final dream” was built. His vision of a “utopia” inspired the company that built the metro to give him an important place in the business, and put a plaque in his honor.
“The fate of one man is interesting and interesting to me as an architect,” he said.
In his affectionate way, Scheeren says he dreams too. He wants to know how an object has taken shape from its beginning, then to understand how things develop over time.
“I think all people can experience the feeling of more, more,” he said.
And the dream is alive
Andersen’s Market Station was built more than 15 years ago to bring more life to this old railway station, which will become the retail heart of Copenhagen.
After all, the inhabitants are on it — at least they are in this old photo — and so is Scheeren himself