Cirkelbroen

Copenhagen, 2015
Olafur Eliasson
This project was initiated before the founding of Studio Other Spaces.

Cirkelbroen presents an alternative to a direct line across the water – it enables a renegotiation of public space. The bridge 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. In so doing, the bridge makes small changes to the way we perceive and experience the city.

Based on the Christianshavn district’s maritime history and culture, Olafur Eliasson used the sailing boat as the visual point of departure for the design of Cirkelbroen. The bridge consists of five staggered circular platforms of various sizes, each with its own ‘mast’. Thin steel cables extend from the tops of the masts – the highest of which rises up twenty-five metres – to the platform’s circular railings. The five steel platforms vary in diameter from ten to fourteen metres and are arranged to create a staggered, zigzag path that inspires uncertainty and pause.

Cirkelbroen is lit at night, and one section of the bridge functions like a swing bridge, rotating to allow large boats to pass into and out of the canal. As many as 5,000 people cross this bridge each day, using it as both a point of crossing and a meeting place in the city.

Cirkelbroen was designed by artist Olafur Eliasson and is a gift from Nordea-fonden to the City of Copenhagen. Nordea-fonden is a non-profit and charitable foundation supporting activities that promote good living in Denmark.

Client: Nordea-fonden, gift to the city of Copenhagen
Location: Christianshavn Kanal, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: 2015