LIW planning uses the context as a starting point to creating site-specific solutions.
To understand the context, the starting point is to understand the site. It is through a thorough reading of the site and its conditions which this occurs. The surrounding physical structures of buildings and landscape, the history of the site and the surrounding area, its cultural heritage, as well as social and cultural structures that can contribute to the story of the site all inform the context.
And it is there, in the story of the site, that the identity-bearing potential is found. It is in the connection with or with reference to the context, that the local anchoring of a new interpretation of the place can be found. We are in fact convinced that the transformation processes in both cities and the countryside are all about creating future versions of what already exists; that a conversion will only be successful when we consciously determine the context and understand the existing values.
This naturally implies the need to establish which spatial aspects and physical elements must be maintained and which must be toned down. We consider it our objective to interpret the existing conditions and integrate this with a new time and a new audience in a new composition. This way, we create places which are immediately new and recognizable in comparison to what is there already. Sites that are anchored in the local and valued by the users as a natural part of their everyday places and landscapes.
We work differently with the context, depending on the specific site and the specific task. Our proposal for Humlebæk South, the Måløv Axis and Holiday Housing in Marielyst are good examples of how we work with the context differently:
In Humlebæk South, we created a master plan for a new residential area, with elements of the existing landscape’s qualities and a strong wish from the existing users to maintain the access to a nearby scenic recreation area. The master plan is based on three different strategies, which each in their own way are based on the context, the sum of which strengthens the existing scenic and recreational values. The result is a housing area where the buildings are placed in the spaces between the horizontal and vertical spaces of the landscape, which works to support and enhance its essence and highlight the moraine features in its topography. This interaction between the existing city, the new buildings and the recreational landscape becomes the area's unique quality. The proposal for Humlebaek South won first prize in a two-phase open competition in 2012. See the project here.
In the Måløv Axis, the design approach is based on an interpretation of the characteristic hilly moraine landscape, which shapes the context around Måløv. Landscape terraces with ramps, stairs and plateaus in bright colours stage the scene of a glacial valley which frames the main arterial’s high level of traffic and movement, while green pockets invite us to sit down and contemplate the many passers-by. With clear references to the surrounding landscape, we created an urban space with a strong identity, that simultaneously relates closely to the site. The project won first prize in an invited competition in 2010 and received the Danish Landscape Award in 2010. See the project here.
In the proposal for new holiday housing in Marielyst, we placed 100 holiday residences in an open, flat and humid landscape, which is only interrupted by a few rows of trees. The proposal enhances the scenic value of the area, as it addresses the minimal existing landscape elements, which become the basis for new landscape typologies with lakes, plateaus and a landscape of reeds, silver willow and electricity. Around the lakes, the holiday residences are located in sea communities raised above ground level, with access to a lake and with views of the landscape. See the project here.