Right from the beginning of the renovation works, the Branch Political Committee and residents wanted the design and appearance to be upgraded.
Vejleåparken Housing Estate, Ishøj, Denmark
Charlotte Skibsted Landskabsarkitekter, Vekso
Ishøj Kommune and AAB
Terca Dresden (blue/black), Terca Markisch (yellow), Bockhorner Bunt 04
Transformation of residetial area in Vejleåparken
The modernization of Vejleåparken (previously known as Ishøjplanen) is the largest renovation of subsidised housing in Denmark’s history. This regeneration project took over six years and cost €188 million. More than 5,000 people live in the 166,000 square metre Vejleåparken residential area, housing a quarter of the inhabitants of the district of Ishøj Kommune. Formerly, the streets around the subsidised housing in Vejleåparken were paved with grey concrete interlocking pavers. In combination with a similar aesthetic which characterized the surrounding buildings, this only served to emphasise the monotony of this residential area. Right from the beginning of the renovation works, the Branch Political Committee and residents wanted the design and appearance to be upgraded. An early decision was that the old style interlocking pavers were no longer an option. In order to bring vitality to the scheme, both the architecture of the buildings and the landscape were divided into four quarters, with each to have its own architectural expression.
Charlotte Skibsted, landscape architect and director of Charlotte Skibsted Landskabsarkitekter, has been in charge of the design of the landscape side of the project. She explains the change: “With this upgrade we have realised a variation of the various landscapes by dividing the streets into four different green areas, each with its own central zone. Each area now has its individual identity linked to the adjacent buildings. The unique appearance of the paving in every one of these areas has been created by using differently coloured pavers combined with Nordic granite. In this way, the residents can identify with their particular neighbourhood. We have used beautiful pavers from Wienerberger, which offers a range of colour options, which means that in some streets there are blue/black ‘Dresden’ pavers and in others, yellow ‘Märkisch’ pavers.”
There is no doubt that Vejleåparken has become a more colourful place to live since the completion of the project. The grey concrete landscape has been transformed by new road surfaces and green common areas with cosy nooks, which are differently shaped depending on their purpose. Some are equipped with table and chairs to encourage social interaction, while others have been designed around football fields and training pavilions. Even the apartment buildings themselves have undergone extensive renovation and now have new façades, windows, roofs, and bathrooms. In addition, Bjorn Norgaard and eight other sculptors have decorated the façades with glazed bricks and light art.
Pavers are in themselves an element of design.