I often wander the street of Copenhagen looking op, and taking in details, but I rarely take the time to see Copenhagen from above. Copenhagen has several view spots were it is possible to see Copenhagen from the top. Rundetårn, the tower at Christensborg, and several church towers are open to the public. Mostly I just pass by always on my way to somewhere, leaving the viewpoints for the tourist. But a couple of weeks ago me and a close friend of mine took the pleasure of climbing “Rundetårn” – the Rund Tower in central Copenhagen. And when I say climbing, it can’t be compared to climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Like everything else in Denmark, it is quite small.
I have been here before; it wasn’t my first visit. But when blogging about the Copenhagen cityscapes, it strikes me that I have never actually reflected on what is significant about the Copenhagen Cityscape. When the sky is clear, it is possible from Rundetårn to see not only Copenhagen but also as far as the suburbs of Copenhagen. For instance, in the far distant behind the City Hall and Tivoli, it is possible to see Avedøreværket in Hvidovre, and to the right, the new cityscape of Sydhavnen neighbour to the old HC Ørstedsværket.
Next to this the new neighbourhood of Carlsberg with “Borhs Tower” (By the locals named “Saruman’s Tower”) and in the distant it is possible to see”Milestedet” on the border between Brøndbyøster and Rødovre, and the building blocks in Høje Gladsaxe. If following the panorama around to the north, you can see Parken on Østerbro, and the new cityscape of Nordhavn, and out on the sea you can get a view of the bridge – Øresundsbroen. These named places are what you maybe internationally would consider miniature skyscrapers.
A Classic European Cityscape
So what stroke me when standing there taking in the view of Copenhagen from above, was the lack of skyscrapers, this of course as a Copenhagener wasn´t a new revelation. But for the first time, I saw what impact the strict city planning of the old parts of Copenhagen has had for the entire cityscape.
Instead of having a downtown predominated consisting of skyscrapers rising to the sky, as seen in Sydney or New York, you have in Copenhagen what I consider a classic European cityscape of three to five storage buildings, and sporadically you see Church Towers and a couple of hotels and office buildings rising above the city. Instead of having modernist concrete as Iconic features of the city you have the old churches. To me it also gets significant with impact contemporary architecture have on the Copenhagen Cityscape, and why it always rises massive protest when new multiple storage projects are getting planned.
It became apparent for me standing there on top of the tower, that when it comes to city planning in Copenhagen, you have to consider two things, where not to build, and how high.