It looks, at first glance, like one of those projects – the kind that doesn't have a hope in hell of being built – but Steven Holl Architects' LM Gateway is finally going ahead after languishing on the drawing board since 2008. The unusual project comprises two mixed-use towers joined by a like number of bridges that will allow people to take a shortcut from one area of Copenhagen Harbor to the other.
LM Gateway was the winner of an architectural competition back in 2008, but was delayed until now due to the recession. Of the two towers, one is situated on Copenhagen Harbor's Langelinie pier, while the other lies on Marmormolen pier. The former will feature a prow-like public deck that points toward the sea, while the latter will sport a large terrace jutting in the direction of Copenhagen.
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Both towers will feature sustainable design, including a solar screen made from photovoltaic panels, a seawater-based heating and cooling system, and a layout that ensures maximum ventilation and natural light. Wind turbines will also provide electricity. Clearly though, it's the novel bridges that makes LM Gateway stand out.
"Each tower carries its own cable-stay bridge that is a public passageway between the two piers," explains the architect. "The competition brief required the 165 meter [541 ft] span to be bridged at a height of 65 meters [213 ft] over the water, allowing ships to pass through. Due to the site geometry, these bridges meet at an angle, joining like a handshake over the harbor."
Each tower will also feature a public elevator, so anyone wishing to cross from the Langelinie side to the Marmormolen side will simply take a ride up and cross the bridges. Local website Copenhagenize reports that the bridges will be open not just to pedestrians, but cyclists too.
Copenhagenize also notes that the bridges help the project meet local city policy. Copenhagen requires a maximum of 500 m (1,640 ft) distance between any residence to public transport facilities. Therefore, without the bridges, those on the Langelinie tower would have far too long a trek to get to the nearest train station. Practicality notwithstanding, Copenhagen is clearly willing to go to great lengths to provide easily-accessible public transport.
We've no word on budget, but construction is expected to begin in late 2016 to early 2017.