Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter
is an architectural office based in Copenaghen, Denmark.
Skjern River, West Jutland, Denmark - 2015 - In collaboration with Bertelsen & Scheving Arkitekter
As a result of the restoration of the Skjern River basin in 2002, a vast and rich natural area has arisen, becoming an attractive visitor destination. A framework for the new life of the area has been provided with the rebuilding and extension of three pump stations, in the form of exhibition spaces, indoor and outdoor viewpoints to look out over the landscape, rooms for the organization of events, and better accessibility.
The extensions and the new interior building elements are mainly simple wooden constructions and reiterate the dimensions and rhythm of the original pump stations’ concrete relief. This creates a direct link between the old structure and the new while adding new material and another texture that is pleasing to the touch. With this detail, the cladding and the main structure become one, reducing the complexity of the building, which is reflected in the budget as well as the final expression.
Myhrwold and Rasmussen engineered the original pump stations from 1966 to be unsentimental and raw in their materiality, and the vertical relief of the concrete façades reminds us of the surrounding ploughed furrows of the fields, and profiles of the soil that control the run of the river. By building on this motif the anchoring of the buildings into the surroundings and the history of the site is strengthened.
Tipperne, Ringkøbing Fjord, Denmark - 2017
The bird sanctuary at the tip of the peninsula in the southern part of Ringkøbing Fjord is, with its unique nature, an important stopping point for migratory birds and home to Europe's oldest continuous bird counts. Previously, public access to the area has been very limited, but through establishing new facilities the area has now been opened to visitors. These facilities consist of simple instrument-like additions in the landscape: a bird hide, watchtower, workshop, walking routes, and a conversion of the Tipper House research station. The new structures are imagined as free-standing objects in the landscape, each with distinctive characteristics and subtle mutual relationships with one another and their surroundings.
The bird-watching tower was developed through the synthesis of the open, flat wetland geography and dense moisture in the air, and the techniques of a local factory specializing in the production of masts in solid cylindrical iron bars. The platform provides an elevated framing of the landscape, a space which can be either closed to offer a secluded position for bird counters or opened-up to the view. The structural system is designed as a jettying frame expanding in width as it rises, allowing a small footprint to incrementally widen to support a larger platform above. Horizontal elements of galvanized iron plates have been bolted and welded together, whilst vertical and diagonal galvanized cylindrical iron bars span between the plates. 50 mm and 65 mm diameter columns and diagonals take compression forces, whilst 22 mm diameter cylindrical iron bars, which form both the balustrade and handrails, transfer tensile forces. All individual elements, including handrails, stairs, landings, and balustrades, form a part of the tower's overall structural system.
The bird hide is a triangular steel structure which acts as a stopping point along a walking trail. Visitors can enter a raised hidden platform, from which wildlife can be seen up-close through a narrow slot opening. The structure is assembled using 6 mm plates of corten steel, with edge reinforcements which simultaneously function as assembly profiles and gutters whilst connecting the structure into the terrain.
The workshop building refers to a small local settlement of improvised hunting huts. It is built as a simple timber frame structure stiffened and sealed by 3 mm aluminum plates on the inside of the structure. The exterior is painted in contrast to the untreated aluminum revealed internally. Light penetrates the structure through translucent fiberglass boards.
The existing Tipper House has been transformed into a visitor center and a research station. The building now hosts exhibitions, a multipurpose room, dining room and kitchen on the ground floor, a library with the workspace on the first floor, and alcove sleeping areas in the gables. In order to retain the quality and character of the existing building, the renovation was realized through a number of subtle interventions. A new external ramp is the only visible alteration from the exterior, internally new beams and columns replace and reinforce the load-bearing walls, a specially designed table, and benches feature in communal areas, red pipes, radiators, and wind gauges draw attention to the research function of the building. Built-in furniture made from OSB among other things forms a new archive for bird counts which has a textural quality reminiscent of the plants in the landscape and thatch of the roof.
Arezzo, Italy - 2018
The project is located within the historic city of Arezzo. The arrangement of an apartment on two levels tries to adapt the existing, the result of continuous changes, to the new housing needs. The unique features of the current situation are the imperfections, the small and continuous changes of altitude that represent both an obstacle to be curbed and an occasion to connote the dynamics of the house. This natural raumplan generated by the overwrites of the time already manifests itself from the entrance, which despite being on the second floor introduces four steps towards the entrance hallway. Here
the main distrubution zone winds, at the center of which the staircase is positioned. The stair takes on the value of an element around which the project is generated: it is realized by recovering in part the existing one, without modifications of floors, with the introduction of materials and details that have the
but decisive presence. The original system is handled as a template, matrix and measurement of the new layout. This design process does not have a real economic saving, but rather the intention to adjust the current artefact, actually building a new one, capable of maintaining the sign that preceded it.