Cirkelbroen - Copenhagen
Text by Olafur Eliasson
Cirkelbroen celebrates pedestrians. It reflects the daily life and intimacy that you find around the canal in the Christianshavn neighbourhood, its houseboats and sailing boats, the unique life on the ramparts. Copenhagen’s harbour was once a centre of maritime activity, and Cirkelbroen is a testimony to that history. While working on the bridge, I remembered the fishing boats I saw as a child in Iceland. In the harbour, the boats were often moored right next to each other, and it sometimes seemed that you could even cross the harbour just by walking from boat to boat.
Anders Sune Berg
In Denmark, there is a strong tradition of focusing on inclusion, on accepting the other – welcoming ideas that we have not yet had, people we have not yet met, and unpredictable encounters. It’s something we all have to work on together, and one way of addressing this is in how we plan public space. Cirkelbroen, I hope, will contribute to improving the quality of life and the development of a hospitable and inclusive city. – Olafur Eliasson Cirkelbroen (2015) was built by Nordea-fonden as a gift to the city of Copenhagen. Nordea-fonden is a non-profit and charitable foundation supporting activities that promote good living in Denmark.
Cirkelbroen was built by Nordea-fonden as a gift to the city of Copenhagen. Nordea-fonden is a non-profit and charitable foundation supporting activities that promote good living in Denmark.
The name “Cirkelbroen” (the Circle Bridge) arises from its shape: five differently-sized circular platforms, each with its own ‘mast’. The circle presents an alternative to the direct line across the water. It encourages pedestrians and cyclists to reduce their speed; it provides a vantage point where people can take a short break, thus creating a new space between two urban areas rather than providing the fastest possible route across Christianshavn Canal.The circle also refers to the compass, to orientation and to cartography. It suggests a dynamic navigation model which enables a renegotiation of the public space. In so doing, the bridge makes small changes to the way we perceive and experience the city. At a macro level, the circle refers to the circle drawn by the inner city of Copenhagen, which Cirkelbroen helps to complete by connecting the Christiansbro area to Appelbys Plads.