KHR Architecture has been the architectural consultant for the transformation of a listed neoclassical courthouse into a modern office community. Nomad Workspace is an office environment of approximately 2,500 square metres divided into private and open office areas, work lounges, café, common areas, meeting facilities and event spaces. We transformed the interior of the building from cellular offices to an open office landscape - bringing the building back to its original spaciousness and character, in a reinterpreted version.
Renovation and transformation
Architect Natalia Sanchez
Architectural consultancy, regulatory project, sketching and design
Modern requirements for historic building
It has been an exciting challenge to create a modern, functional office environment in a building that has been in use since 1850. Transformation is not only sustainable, the old buildings also bring a lot of identity and soul to the new space you create.
The challenge is that today's requirements for indoor climate and fire safety are completely different. This has required a close dialogue with the authorities throughout the project to arrive at solutions that meet both the wishes of the client and the requirements of the authorities.
Office shared space in neoclassical building
The office hotel is located in a former court building adjacent to the prison on Blegdamsvej, designed by one of the greatest architects of the 19th century, M.G. Bindesbøll, who is also the man behind the beautiful Thorvaldsens Museum.
The building at Blegdamsvej 6 is in the same neoclassical style as the prison, with a plastered facade and prominent columns. In 2013 the court moved out of the property and the current owner H.P. Hertz bought the building to create a modern office hotel in the listed buildings.
New terrace for everyday and parties
Of course, it requires a close dialogue with the authorities when transforming and expanding a listed building. KHR Architecture has helped Nomad Workspace to get the green light from the authorities for a nice wooden terrace facing Sankt Hans Torv.
The terrace is used both for a quick lunch on weekdays for the site's combined café and canteen and for larger events, such as during the Tour de France.
The architect on the transformation process
"We started by finding the original drawings of the building to find the original room dimensions and did research on how to best utilise the different room typologies for a modern office environment.
The aim was to create a flexible and dynamic workplace in a beautiful setting for small companies and sole traders. A place that could accommodate different ways of working.
Then we set about tearing down the layers of time, restoring and rebuilding. It's great to see that the ideas are working in practice: the house has become a vibrant and informal place that has a pulse and a dynamism. It has become the platform that the client wanted, where it is easy to make new acquaintances and partners."
Morten Nøhr Frandsen, Case Architect and Associate Partner
Transformation with focus on flow and function
In order to create an optimal office environment that works both for the permanent users and for the customers who rent meeting rooms on demand, space planning has been a major focus in transformation process. It's about creating good, natural flows while providing the necessary space for calm and contemplation.
Precisely because plans and flows are so essential to architecture, working with an existing, listed building is an exciting architectural challenge.
Transformation is not just about looking forward. On Blegdamsvej, a number of architectural qualities were hidden behind the suspended ceilings, which today contribute to the beauty of the spaces.
On the ground floor, an open café has been established, where you can eat with other office colleagues or meet people from outside for a working lunch or an informal cup of coffee. The café serves as both a canteen and a restaurant, and there is a good outdoor area in the form of a terrace facing Sankt Hans Torv with large steps down to street level.
Think out of the box - into the box
As architects, it is also our job to turn constraints into opportunities. In Nomad Workspace, for example, focus boxes have been set up where people can hold meetings or talk on the phone without disturbing or being disturbed. The boxes also make use of a wasted space in the hallway and in this way help to improve the client's business case.
The space planning has been designed with different user groups and a dynamic working day in mind: there are both small touchdown office spaces where you can quickly connect your laptop and areas with fixed seating. There are booths for conference calls and meeting rooms for more conventional or private meetings. All spaces are designed to provide variety and lounge space.