After opening an artificial ski slope on top of a power plant last fall, Copenhagen is already working on the next project that will give new life to public spaces in the Danish capital.
Copenhagen Islands will be a “parkipelago” of floating islands in the city’s harbor that will be free to use by anyone with access to a boat or kayak, a fairly common mode of transportation within the city. (Travelers can rent solar-powered boats by the hour from GoBoat.)
Designed by Australian architect Marshall Blecher and the Danish design studio Fokstrot, the islands will be constructed by hand using traditional Danish wooden boat–building techniques and will feature endemic trees, plants, and grasses to provide shade for humans and a new habitat for birds.
Back in 2018, the design team launched a 215-square-foot prototype called CPH-Ø1 with a single linden tree at its center. Upcoming islands named CPH-Ø2 and CPH-Ø3 will join CPH-Ø1 in the harbor later in 2020, and there are plans for many more. They’ll feature a host of new amenities like a floating sail-in café, a floating sauna, floating gardens, and a floating mussel farm.
The plan is for the islands to move around the harbor as the seasons change. In the summer, the islands will be moved to underutilized areas to help drive new development to emerging neighborhoods. In the winter and during special events, the islands will be clustered together as a “supercontinent” so people can access them directly from the banks of the harbor.
Copenhagen isn’t the only city that has plans to expand its public space into the waters surrounding it. In spring 2021, New York City is opening “Little Island,” a 2.4-acre park in the Hudson River that can be accessed by pedestrian bridges near West 13th Street in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.