Your college dorm was a boring, rectangular cinder block building. The Tietgen Dormitory (Tietgenkollegiet) in Copenhagen, Denmark — one of the five greenest cities in the world — is anything but. Designed by the architects at Lundgaard & Tranberg as an urban response to the academic context, the Tietgan was envisioned as “a bold architectural statement” in a newly planned area. Its circular form, “a symbol of equality and the communal” is contrasted by its projecting volumes, which delineate the dorm’s individual residences.
This 288,000-square-foot, seven-story building makes extensive use of natural daylighting; all rooms face outward, offering every residence views of the surrounding landscape. (Every room either has a French window or a balcony.) The buildings is heated via in-floor, radiant heat, ensuring that students stay warm and comfortable during Denmark’s cold winter months. These green elements conspire to help the building keep its energy and fuel usage to a minimum, in keeping with Copenhagen’s green-building-as-mainstream profile.
Every room here comes complete with its own shower and toilet — a fact anyone who had to share facilities in college will no doubt appreciate. The building features a total of 30 kitchens, each of which comes complete with four fridges and two stoves. On the ground floor, you’ll find common facilities, including a bike room, two music rooms, a gym, a computer room, a study room, an assembly hall, and an outdoor area for basketball and other sports.
Another key featuring distinguishing this dorm, located in the district of Ørestad: a sewing workshop, a bike workshop, and a woodworking workshop.
Tietgenkollegiet is a gift from Nordea-fonden, which, at the turn of the millennium, decided that they wanted to build the “residence hall of the future.”
Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.