Superkilen is a new urban park that cuts through the heart of Copenhagen’s diverse Nørrebro neighborhood, home to more than 60 nationalities. The kilometer-long "Super Park," consists of three themed parts: red square, black market, and green park. It is dotted with various pop artifacts and cultural mementos "sourced" from the home countries of the area’s inhabitants. Here, you’re just as likely to stumble across manhole covers from Paris and Islamic-tiled fountains from Morocco as you are (ironic) neon Communist signage from Moscow and curvy benches from Brazil.
Rather than fashion a park ex nihilo–one that would inevitable contain elements of distinctly Danish design–the collective decided to draw on Nørrebro’s "local intelligence," gathering elements, experiences, and memories from all over the world in one "curated" park for the people by the people, so to speak. Superflex organized five groups of people to travel back to their native lands, where they selected various mementos, both large and small, for inclusion in the Superkilen.
Designed in collaboration with art group Superflex and Topotek 1 architects, BIG conceived of the park as a "fusion of architecture, landscape, and art." The team was invited by the City of Copenhagen and the Realdania Foundation to participate in the 13.4 million euro project, which is hoped will revitalize the neighborhood while forging a global identity capable of unifying the city’s urban fabric.
BIG classifies these objects–numbering over 100 in all–as "urban furniture," which, along with landscaping, creates a legible identity for the neighborhood and its place within Copenhagen. The park unfolds along three color-coded segments, each semi-autonomous environments with their own programmatic and atmospheric agendas.
The "Red Square" extends from the base of a nearby sports hall and is strewn with bright magenta and orange polygons that frame all manner of recreation and exercise activities. The "Black Square," the park’s central square, features a rolling landscape that is emblazoned with a mesh of white lines, which wind around set pieces like the Moroccan fountain and Chinese palm trees. The squares empties onto a linear green lawn that will be more leisurely in nature.
By appealing to the inhabitants of the neighborhood–the park’s primary users, after all–the designers were able to achieve a "maximum freedom of expression," which, according to Bjarke Ingels, transforms "public procedure into proactive proposition we curated a park for the people by the people – peer to peer design – literally implemented."
All images: BIG
This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.