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Charlotte Garden, an Additional Giant Sized Living Room

Charlotte Garden. Photo credit: Torben Petersen.

Charlotte Garden, by SLA, Copenhagen, Denmark. Charlotte Garden in Copenhagen, Denmark, is located on the site of a former factory that produced cryolite aluminum. Today, the factory has been replaced by a modern residential complex with 178 apartments. Its facade is covered with bricks in multiple shades of blue. The building’s square structure follows the current composition of other buildings in the city.

 Charlotte Garden © SLA

Viewed from the apartments above, the Charlotte Garden is a picture, constantly changing character in sync with the seasons, times of day and changing wind directions. © SLA

Objective of the Charlotte Garden

Thanks to this square structure, the center of the residential complex appeared to SLA — a large landscape office in Denmark — as a place full of life. SLA wanted to design this space as a meeting place for local residents, but it is obviously open to all.

Charlotte Garden. Photo credit: Torben Petersen.

The different and changing spaces are held together by paths crossing through the garden, whilst the delineation of the spaces is achieved by means of change of material. A textural and sensory space with a particular attention to nuances and movement. ©SLA / Photo Torben Petersen

SLA has built this place to allow people to discover a new experience in the landscape, which is taking possession of site. This contact between the people and the garden allows people to flourish and feel comfortable in this place and for the place to come alive; there is a complementary relationship between the two parties.
Charlotte Garden is used more and more by local people. On the way to the café, as a meeting place, chatting at the playground – or because they live in the housing blocks of the same name that surround the open park and courtyards on Østerbro in Copenhagen. The garden has become a place and a room.© SLA

Charlotte Garden is used more and more by local people. On the way to the café, as a meeting place, chatting at the playground – or because they live in the housing blocks of the same name that surround the open park and courtyards on Østerbro in Copenhagen. The garden has become a place and a room. © SLA

This is why a playground, as well as chairs and tables, are set in the garden, inviting walkers to stop to sit and contemplate or to chat with other people. The key is to give life to this place and to help people feel good. Related Articles:

Planting in the Charlotte Garden

The priority of SLA was to make this garden as pleasant as possible. For example, SLA used vegetation to play with colors of the frame. So Charlotte Garden is invaded by grasses of all kinds, including Deschampsia sp., Molinia caerulea, Miscanthus sp., Festuca glauca, Calamagrostis sp., Carex sp. and Seslevia sp,. interspersed with some ferns and a few trees.

Charlotte Garden, Copenhagen. © SLA

Charlotte Garden, Copenhagen. © SLA

The use of these grasses is not common at Scandinavian latitudes. However, in this garden, they are in their place. The grasses impose themselves by the variety of colors they offer, merging with mineral soil and built areas. The grasses change from bright green to grayish blue in summer, to golden brown in winter. Intertwined in the wind, they move with the curves drawn by flowerbeds. Children playing there inadvertently break the grasses and give them a wild look that is even more captivating.
Charlotte Garden. Photo credit: Torben Petersen.

Charlotte Garden. Photo credit: Torben Petersen.

As a place for meeting, sharing, and gaming, Charlotte Garden is a space where you can walk, but also eat, read, or relax. Charlotte Garden multiplies the functions that it offers to residents of the building and visitors from elsewhere. The corten steel edges associated with the quasi strict use of grasses gives the garden a great contemporary look and confirms that SLA has a dynamic and innovative team in landscape. With vegetation consisting of tall grasses, paths are drawn with free and undulating curves framed within a straight, linear space. One can feel the creative freedom that comes from these blends, this mixing between curved and straight, mineral and plant, with nuanced colors and different planting heights.
 Charlotte Garden © SLA

The winding paths turn a walk into a spatial experience that changes with the season – each visit offers a new experience.© SLA

A conglomerate of residential gardens and public spaces where small niches offer inviting places to gather.© SLA

A conglomerate of residential gardens and public spaces where small niches offer inviting places to gather.© SLA

Seasonal activity at the  Charlotte Garden © SLA

Seasonal activity at the Charlotte Garden © SLA

Even surrounded by the apartment building, the garden is not stifled by the structure. It gives way to an open space, letting residents see it from all sides and offering pleasant views toward the inside of the city block.
Unusual for the Scandinavian latitudes there is year-round colour in Charlotte Garden. Colours that change, over the course of the year, from summer nuances of blue and green to a range of golden winter hues.© SLA

Unusual for the Scandinavian latitudes there is year-round colour in Charlotte Garden. Colours that change, over the course of the year, from summer nuances of blue and green to a range of golden winter hues.© SLA

Charlotte Garden is a friendly garden for all seasons. With projects like this one from SLA, the public garden is finally taking its place in our homes, becoming a living room outside and not simply a separate green space. Recommended Reading:

Article by Alexandra Wilmet Return to Homepage

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