Copenhagen welcomes the Opera Park, the new green lung of the Danish capital bustling with construction activity. Designed by Danish studio Kobe, the architectural park is located on an island between the Royal Danish Opera and Paper Island, a soon-to-be completed former industrial area converted into housing by the same architects.
Opera Park: a rich and green urban environment for everyone
The Opera Garden is a verdant garden island comprising six gardens and a greenhouse: the North American Forest, the Danish Oak Forest, the Boreal Forest, the Oriental Garden, the English Garden, and the Subtropical Garden (the latter, located within the greenhouse at its heart). The scheme was commissioned through a competition supported by the AP Moller Foundation, and is designed as a counterpoint to Copenhagen’s densely built inner harbour.
“The Opera Garden is a place where nature comes first amidst Copenhagen’s bustling urban development,” explains Dan Stobergard, founder of COPE and a professor at Harvard University. “With its six gardens, winding paths and carefully designed viewpoints, the project captures elements of Copenhagen’s historic and romantic gardens to meet the challenges of Today, such as the decline in biodiversity and water management.
‘Designed for recreation, relaxation and contemplation, the park provides the city with a much-needed green oasis. As you stroll through the park, you will feel as if you have left the city and become immersed in nature, almost forgetting that you are in the middle of a dense city centre.’
The architecture team has done everything it can to craft a planting-rich public landscape that everyone can enjoy year-round. It includes 628 trees, 80,000 perennial herbaceous trees and shrubs, and 40,000 bulbous plants from all over the world.
Stubbergaard adds: ‘The Opera Park sets the stage for experiencing nature in the heart of Copenhagen. Like the Opera Theatre, the Park is a landscape composed of a foreground, a middle ground and a background.’
“80,000 plants and more than 600 trees have been placed to create a stunning natural setting facing the harbour. The terrain and trees are tallest where they form the background, and lowest in the foreground towards the harbour.