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Climate change adaptation

Nature based solutions

Urban infrastructure planning


Saint Anne Square

10. December 2014

Solution provider


At Schønherr our primary areas of expertise lie within urban and landscape architecture, strategic and physical planning, infrastructure, climate architecture, and cultural heritage. We use the cultural and natural values of the city and landscape as strong tools in shaping environments that stand as testaments to enduring quality and forward-thinking solutions.

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In connection with the establishment of a new underground parking garage for the new playhouse by the Kvaesthus pier, the area around and the entrance to the playhouse have to be designed. The establishment of the underground garage liberates 500 parking spaces above ground in the area which leaves space for a better urban life.

A special feature in the project is that the renovated square and the streets around it have to be designed to carry rainwater connected to extreme rainfalls away from the old buildings and to the harbour. The water from cloudbursts will be handled both visually on the surface and in pipes under ground. The project is a demonstration project for cloudburst protection on a national and international level.


With this project for Saint Anne Square we are working with one of the most interesting and exciting areas in Copenhagen and in Denmark. The area is a very special place in the center of Copenhagen and is characterized by the fact that urban spaces with different history and architecture meet, overlap and mix – supporting each other’s unique qualities, making each other and the place something entirely unique.

The ambition of the project is to see the area as a cohesive whole. Viewed in totality as pieces needed to complete and finish the area around the playhouse and separated where each section, each stretch, each street needs its own functionality, urban life, and architectural expression.

With the Saint Anne project an important axis in Copenhagen will be finished and completed. As a new interpretation of a classical urban space that hitherto has not been completed, a dignified arrival setting for the playhouse is created together with a contemporary urban space that will be able to stand up to the beautiful buildings of the Frederiksstad and provide enjoyment for both citizens and tourists alike. Sankt Anae Square will still be a place for peaceful urban life and therefore measures are taken to reduce through traffic and speed. The profile of the square will be designed as a bicycle street.

The main idea for Saint Anne Square is to preserve, enhance and continue the formal, rigid and symmetrical green elements that characterize the urban space today. The square has been redesigned with wider sidewalks and a wider green middle zone leaving more place for urban life. The existing barriers across the space will be removed and the connection between the green middle and the street will be strengthened.

The green middle zone is programed in response to the urban life requirements along the square and will be recessed so it will be able to transport the water from cloudbursts from the whole area.

In the streets Lille and Store Strandstræde we create better conditions for pedestrians and cafes through a continous paving from facade to facade underlining their role as pedestrian streets. In both of the streets and the little square where they meet out door serving will be possible and the square will be designed for recreation and small arrangements like a market or similar events. All spaces have been designed with a concave profile in order to carry water.

Kvaesthusgade will still be open for deliveries to the playhouse and as a transport corridor between Nyhavn and Saint Anne Square. The street has been designed with an asymmetric profile with a gutter for cloudbursts, cycle parking and new trees.

Nyhavn east of Toldbodgade and to the Kvaesthus project will continue the cobblestone surface and the urban life from the section west of Toldbodgade, but with an added focus on accessibility. The stretch will become a pedestrian street.

A new pedestrian crossing will be established in the crossroads with Toldbodgade tying the two areas together.