Copenhagen, Ekvipagemestervej 10
2001 – 2005
We visited Copenhagen just recently. You cannot look next to the Opera, a building along the water that can be seen from (almost) everywhere. Therefore a blog post about this. You can also always read another blog post about architecture in Copenhagen: Gemini Residence, Danish Jewish Museum, Bella Sky Hotel, VM buildings and the Blue Planet.
The most remarkable thing about the building is that it was fully funded by private funds. If you think it was cheap, nothing could be further from the truth. The building has cost 335 million euros. This amount came from Denmark’s richest person, Arnold Maersk, a retired man that owned the shipping company. The building was donated to the city and will bear the name of the queen.
The architect of the building is Henning Larsen, who sometimes discussed with the client. The public spaces had to be covered with gold leaf, for example, the architect advised negatively. The gold was nevertheless applied (105,000 sheets of 24-carat gold or 1.5 kilograms of gold hanging on the ceiling) and this led to a break with Larsen. There are two striking elements on the outside of the building: the roof and the curved glass facade. Behind the glass is the foyer that is 12 meters high. This is separated from the room by a wall in maple wood and is called “pumpkin” by the visitors. The rest of the outer facade consists of yellow limestone.
1492 spectators can sit in the opera room. The main stage has 5 extra stages where large sets can be placed, so that a quick change of scenery can take place. The orchestra pit is one of the largest in the world for an opera: it can hold 110 musicians. If it is not used, additional seats can be built here. The entire building consists of 14 floors with 5 of them underground.
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