MLRP

Copenhagen N | Since 2008

Mirror House

Copenhagen City | Denmark | Completed November 2011

Danish-American architects MLRP in Copenhagen, has transformed an existing graffiti-plagued playground structure to an inviting and reflective pavilion as part of the new Interactive Playground Project in Copenhagen.

Funhouse mirrors are mounted on the gabled ends of this playground pavilion in Copenhagen, as well as behind the doors.
This engages a play with perspective, reflection and tranformation. Instead of a typical closed gable facade, the mirrored gables creates a sympathetic transition between built and landscape and reflects the surrounding park, playground and activity.

Windows and doors are integrated in the wood-clad facade behind facade shutters with varied bent mirror panel effects.
At night the shutters are closed making the building anonymous. During the day the building opens up, attracting the children who enjoy seeing themselves transformed in all directions.

With simple means it has succeeded to transform an existing, sad and anonymous building to a unique and respectful installation in the newly renovated park.
The roof and facade is clad with heat-modified wood and the gables and shutters are clad with mirror polished stainless steel.

The Mirror House is a flexible space and restrooms, used by kindergarden classes.
Forty percent of the energy consumption in the Western World is used by buildings, ninety nine percent from existing buildings, and only one percent from new buildings.

This is why it is absolutely necessary to focus on transforming older, existing buildings into more sustainable structures, by upgrading insulation values, sun shading, heating, ventilation and lighting systems.

Sustainability is also to renovate and transform, instead of demolishing (requiring energy and creating waste) which can be a more responsible solution than building new.

Mirror House is an example of a successful transformation project for limited funds. The playground pavilion was run down by years of neglect and vandalism, but the masonry structure, roof and foundations were in good condition and therefore the building’s life could be extended.

There were made slight modifications to the internal layout of the space. The building was thereafter upgraded with focus on effective installations, insulation and design.
The roof slope was increased to conceal the new roof mounted installations and the existing roof membrane and downspouts, under the new building shell, continue their function.
Finally it is clad with sustainable certified wood, Thermo Wood.

Thermo Wood is heat modified, which toughens the wood increasing the wood’s longevity, and making it a good alternative to tropical or impregnated wood. The heating treatment reduces movement in the wood, which means less maintenance.

Funhouse mirrors of polished stainless steel, mounted on the gabled ends, as well as behind the shutter doors. This engages a play with perspective, reflection and tranformation. Instead of a typical closed gabled facade, the mirrored gables creates a sympathetic transition between built and landscape and reflects the surrounding park, playground and activity.

With simple means it has succeeded to transform a sad and anonymous building to a unique and respectful installation in the newly renovated park.

Design team:

Project leader: Robert Warren Paulsen

Client:

City of Copenhagen (CAU) and a donation from the fund of A.P.Møller and Wife Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller

Project partners:

Engineers: Grontmij A/S
Landscape: GHB Landscape A/S
Contractor: A.F.Hansen