NEWS

2012-01-12

Floating office

THESE heart-stopping pictures of office rooms suspended in thin air have given high-flying business meetings a new meaning in the headquarters of a leading Danish bank,

Designed by Scandinavian architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the new headquarters for Copenhagen-based mortgage bank Nykredit has captured people's attention around the world.

The ten-storey glass structure is one of the Danish city's largest office buildings and features a dramatic atrium flooded with natural light providing links to all levels.

And although the open atrium is raised above the ground allowing passing traffic a view of the activities inside the building, the most striking feature of the design has to be the three suspended meeting rooms that are cantilevered off of the third and fifth floors.

Hanging 50ft above the ground floor, the private conference rooms are placed in hanging boxes clad in dark polished wood - meaning high-flying managers at the bank must have  a stomach for heights as well as a brain for figures.

Situated on the picturesque Copenhagen waterfront, the architects had to find a solution to solve the problem of heat being captured by the large glass exterior.

Eventually they came up with an answer - using water from the nearby harbour to cool the building, as well as ensuring sections of the roof and double layered facade can be opened up to allow for natural ventilation.

A spokesperson for the company said: "The most striking part of the design has to be the three suspended meeting rooms that are cantilevered off of the third and fifth floors. 

"The building also features glass elevators, balconies, and exposed stairways, creating an open and clean-looking work environment.

"Great care was taken in anticipating how the large glass exterior would capture and hold heat. Along with being cooled using water from a nearby harbour, specific sections of the roof and double layered facade can be opened up to allow for natural ventilation. 

"Not only does this building have an elegant appearance, it's also one of the largest office buildings in all of Copenhagen.

As well as the suspended meeting rooms, the building also features glass elevators, exposed staircases, balconies and walkways - creating a lively working environment.

Several internationally recognised artists have also contributed to the decoration of the building. 

Olav Christopher Jenssen created a 30 metre long mural, while a giant bronze sculpture by sculptor Per Kirkeby stands centre stage in the atrium. 

Architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen, who have 140 employees based over their four offices in Aarhus, Copenhagen, London and Shanghai, have won contracts all over the globe and fought off 20 international companies to design the permanent headquarters for the International Criminal Court in The Hague back in 2010.

Their work can also be viewed in the UK, after the company designed the new flagship Campus for City of Westminster College in 2006 and the 15,500 square metre Aberdeen New Library in Scotland.