Sunday, August 29, 2010


Last week I was fortunate to accompany Jen Dee's architecture class from the Copenhagen Classroom on a trip to the Louisiana Museum. I had visited the museum before, but I was amazed at how much I missed the first time I was there. These photos sum up some of my favorite parts of the museum, and some of the things I missed on my first visit.

For example, this slide:

There were some nice quiet corners in the part of the museum that is closed while they prepare for the upcoming Anselm Kiefer exhibit.

Here I found a little patch of astroturf intended to cover an exposed pipe on the lawn. I don't think it blends in as well as they hoped.

This path around the outside of the closed portion of the museum was and still is one of my favorite things about the grounds. It is so narrow that it is hard to tell whether this space is open to the public. The path incorporates storm water drainage, with a channel on one side and tiny steps on the other side. You can branch off by the large drain pipe to go down to the beach, or continue around the building.

I love the random incorporation of cobbles into mushy parts of the lawn.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rewind 1 week to a beautiful layover in Iceland

I want to post about my brief trip to Iceland before I got too caught up in life here in Copenhagen. I opted for a longer layover in Reykjavik during my flights from Seattle, so that I might get out and explore while I was in such a unique country. One bizarre thing I noticed as I made my way into Reykjavik was these boulder sculptures of people that seem to be found all over the barren landscape.

I stayed up all night on the plane, and upon arriving in Iceland, caught the first bus to the Blue Lagoon, which is an amazing geological phenomenon. Much of the lagoon is now occupied by a spa facility, which is of course heavily touristed, but still lovely. The hot water cycles up from the ground and hosts a combination of minerals and algae that keep the water a pale, milky blue, and safe for bathing without the use of chlorine. Some places in the pool can be quite hot, while others are just lukewarm.

However, not all of the lagoon is contained by the spa. There are some nice hiking paths around the outside of the facility where visitors can check out the lagoon in a more natural setting.

I also had the privilege of visiting Reykjavik for a day. I spent some time exploring the main street and the waterfront. The city feels fairly small, with some bustling zones, and many quiet, unpopulated areas. I get the feeling that for much of the year the architecture is designed to reject the weather, rather than to invite it in.

The waterfront in Reykjavik feels surprisingly removed from the city. This is because it is still very much a working waterfront, and industry occupies much of the space between downtown and the ocean. Still, there are some paths out to the jetties if you work hard to find them, and I know that other parts of the city have beaches and parks with access to the water, though I did not have time to visit them.

I'm here!

I've finally arrived in Copenhagen! I am getting settled into my new apartment, which I will be sharing with Natalie Gulsrud, UW Evan's School alum, and current Ph. D candidate here at the University of Copenhagen. Our apartment is on a quiet corner without much traffic.

I am living in Christianshavn, a small man-made island near the center of Copenhagen. Christianshavn is connected to central Copenhagen via Knippelsbro, the bridge across the main canal. From the apartment I have a view of the old ramparts that line the island, which were part of the original fortification for the city dating back to the 1600's. The ramparts now contain a series of walking paths which zigzag around the edge of the island, and through Christiania. I will be enjoying some great runs on these paths for sure!

The other side of our apartment opens out onto a great central courtyard, which is shared by all of the neighboring buildings. People can use the courtyard for picnics, bike storage, and as a safe place for small children to play that is visible from almost every parent's kitchen window. The courtyard also serves as laundry access and a shared recycling station for the neighboring buildings.