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Using all recycled brick and an array of sustainable practices, Humlehaven has combined two fundamental themes existing within this project, the historical legacy of Carlsberg and the densification in design within the planning of this remarkable venture. One of the biggest challenges faced was to maintain the historical significance of the area while implementing the design, as Carlsberg brewery has been a fundamental force in the development of Copenhagen. Delivering on this, the clay bricks selected have a special significance; they are harvested from the rest of the brewery itself, to build of itself for a new future. By utilising a firm tactic for reusing such materials, the final footprint of the project is significantly reduced.

The brick is shaped into overlapping slices which are interlocked with resourcefully placed windows, an idea that was based on the layout of the original brewery grounds. Historically, the brewery workers were only permitted to look out onto the brewery founder J.C. Jacobson’s private grounds in “slices” of open space, taking in only the moments revealed through the industrial brick edifices. Gazing upon the reimagining of this history, one is struck by a juxtaposition of the Carlsberg of yesterday evolving into the homes of tomorrow. Complimenting this design, an innovative method was utilised which aligned the series of open spaces and windows with particularly selected reflective surfaces, ensuring a supple illumination of the northern facades of the residential area regardless of which direction the natural light originates.

Rising from a centralised plinth, the lush central garden is built symbolically of the city’s famous “hidden” parks. Surrounding this, the facades of the buildings in Humlehaven represent a rendering of the people behind them. In the words of head designer Morten Vedelsbøl, “It reinterprets the way in which we densify our cities”, and provides a fluid link between the external Carlsberg municipality and the Humlehaven local district.


  • Client: Carlsberg City
  • Project Start/End: 2013-2017
  • Area/Size: 12,239 m²
  • Apartments / Rooms: 65 Residential units + Office Spaces
  • City: København
  • Photographer/Illustrator: White


  • Mikkel Thams Olsen
  • Morten Vedelsbøl
  • Scott Grbavac

Building Type