Maersk Tower in Copenhagen acknowledged for its innovative approach to urban climate adaptation.
The 15-storey Maersk Tower building was completed in 2017 and is part of Copenhagen University’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences. Its 5,000 m2 green roof is designed by the Nordic architecture firm SLA as part of SUND Nature Park. The green roof has a dual purpose: it is not only intended to contribute to plant conservation but also assists with urban climate adaptation. Although Maersk tower is part of Copenhagen University, it will also be open to the public.
The roof is planted with 60 native species that grew on Copenhagen’s common grazing areas. The city’s common grazing areas existed up until the 1840s and thus these species would no longer exist in the city were it not for the tower building. As a nod to the multicultural composition of the surrounding neighbourhood Nørrebro, the roof includes some exotic tree species. In addition to the conservation aspect, the green roof also functions as a tool to cope with extreme rainfall events through increased evaporation, relieved pressure on the sewers during heavy rainfall and reduced local warming. Furthermore, the construction of the roof is based on recycled materials.
The Scandinavian Green Roof Prize is awarded annually to the best green roof project in Scandinavia. The criteria against which the projects are judged are biodiversity, water utilisation or adaptation, recreational value, sustainability and design. This is the third time that SLA has won the prize within the past four years, previously winning for their design of Egedal Town Hall in 2016, and Novo Nordisk Nature Park in 2014.
-Maersk Tower’s green roof has successfully united a very large roof surface of 5,000 m2 with a sophisticated design and the reestablishment of different Danish habitats. The public green roof contributes with a societal responsibility by primarily being based on recycled materials and significantly reducing rainwater run-off during cloudbursts for optimised climate adaptation in a dense urban area, explains the panel of judges as a reason for their decision.
The roof is laid out by Skælskør Landscape Gardeners in collaboration with Byggros and Birkholm Garden Centre.