These former shipyard halls were suddenly, after decades of decay, the epicenter of Europe’s pop-culture for about a week, when the international song contest Eurovision took place here in 2014. But after that the halls were again abandoned and left with an uncertain future. Despite the fact that the National Agency for Culture has appointed the B&W halls as one of Copenhagen’s most important industrial monuments.
Partly renovating the halls for the Eurovision Song Contest became a big scandal in Denmark as the costs for the event and music festival exceeded the budget by far. Despite that the B&W halls are still very far from being a finished event arena, especially missing a very costly insulation of the halls that would otherwise be too cold for having events in the winter time.
At the same time, Copenhagen is experiencing a historical housing crisis. The city will each year receive 20.000 new students, many of whom must begin their studies as homeless. The ongoing youth housing projects are not enough and the rent is often higher than the scholarship that students must live on.
This project deals with both issues at the same time!
By adding a new “layer of insulation” in form of a wall of student apartments all around the halls the event space will be insulated and 1500 new student housing units will be installed in the structure. Students living in this new combined event space and mega-collegium will not only have a great and cheap place to live, they will also have free row seats to concerts and other events.
The transformation from B & W halls for B & W College will not only preserve a landmark that can be seen from many parts of the city. It will also create a unique combination of student and cultural events that can put crucial time in Refshaleøen who is first is slated to begin its urban development in the 2020s.
The project IS exhibited AT the Venice Biennial 2016.