"SMK Back into the Park". Polyform

Behind | 12.dec.2011

Winners announced for new Museum Garden design

Polyform, a rapidly rising star on the Danish architectural scene, will be in charge of the design for a new Museum Garden in front of the National Gallery of Denmark. That is the final verdict of a project competition launched by the Gallery and the City of Copenhagen on the basis of a donation from the Annie and Otto Johs. Detlefs’ Foundations – OJD. The Foundations will also fund the physica creation of the new Museum Garden and a thorough modernisation of the Gallery’s entrance area.

With their winning project “SMK Back into the Park” the Polyform office will be behind the revitalisation of the 7,500m² area in front of the National Gallery of Denmark. The winning project was presented by the Gallery and the City of Copenhagen earlier today at a reception held at the Gallery. On that occasion the architectural office SLA was awarded second prize for their design proposal. Polyform’s winning design and seven other proposals will be exhibited at the Gallery until 15 January 2012. The inauguration of the new Museum Garden is projected for 2013.

SMK Back into the Park
In June of this year the National Gallery of Denmark and the City of Copenhagen launched a competition inviting proposals for a new design to reinvigorate and reinvent the Museum Garden. After a preliminary pre-qualification round, a total of eight enterprises from Denmark and abroad were invited to submit their proposals. Now, the judges have unanimously pointed to Polyform as the winner. With the project “SMK Back in the Park” Polyform solved the task by letting the green spaces provided by the Østre Anlæg park reach all the way around the Gallery. The stringent, Baroque-infused layout of the present-day garden design will disappear and be replaced by e.g. grass-clad hillocks, large trees, and serpentine pathways that lead around and envelop the Gallery building and the green bastions.

The judges’ comments include the following statement about the winning proposal: ”The proposal is particularly commended for its simple underlying approach, which demonstrates respect for and understanding of the link between building, park, and city, thereby creating a precisely articulated and compelling architectural whole that brings out the full authority of the building.”
Read the judges’ comments (Danish version only).

Gallery Director Karsten Ohrt comments:
”It is a great pleasure for us to see how the judges have pointed to a proposal that perfectly complements the Gallery’s desire to become even more open to the world around us. Polyform’s winning design will create a new social and recreational space in Copenhagen and embed the Gallery as an integrated part of the park and city space that surrounds it.”

Technical and Environmental Mayor Ayfer Baykal comments:
”I am very pleased to see how this will create a new, green urban space where the people of Copenhagen can experience art and culture, a place where you can breathe freely and deeply and interact with other people in a beautifully verdant setting. We need such spaces within the city, and I look forward to seeing the new Museum Garden teeming with life.”

About Polyform
Polyform was first established in 2006 and is owned and managed by the architects Jonas Sangberg and Thomas Kock. In very little time Polyform has successfully realised a number of award-winning projects, and the office is behind major projects such as the design of the new Købmagergade pedestrian street in Copenhagen. It is also part of the team developing the urban planning for the new Nordhavn district in Copenhagen. The new Museum Garden will be realised in cooperation with the Dutch landscape architects Karres en Brands, Oluf Jørgensen engineers, Via Trafik and art historian Svava Riesto.
Read more about Polyform.

Generous sponsors ensure full-scale realisation
In 2010 the National Gallery of Denmark received a generous donation from Annie and Otto Johs. Detlefs’ Foundations – OJD to the value of DKK 27.5 million for an extensive modernisation of the area in front of the museum. Covering approximately 7.500 m², this area is roughly equivalent in size to Copenhagen’s two main squares; Rådhuspladsen and Kongens Nytorv. Since then Annie and Otto Johs. Detlefs’ Foundations – OJD have sponsored an additional DKK 17 million towards renovating and improving the Gallery’s entrance area and towards establishing passageways and paths leading around the Gallery towards the other areas of the Østre Anlæg park. The modernisation of the entrance area will take place concurrently with the establishment of the new Museum Garden and will be handled by Erik Møller Arkitekter under the auspices of the Royal Building Inspectorate. The two projects will be aesthetically aligned.

The Park Museums
The establishment of the Museum Garden should be regarded as an important aspect of the overall endeavours to create a high-profile museum district in this part of Copenhagen. David’s Collection, Filmhuset, Rosenborg Castle, the Natural History Museum of Denmark, the Hirschsprung Collection, and the National Gallery of Denmark have joined forces for the project “The Park Museums”. Over time, this project will create better passageways between the six institutions and tap into the potential for co-operation.

The new Museum Garden is realised with generous support from

PRESS PHOTOS can be ordered at: E

For further information, please contact:

National Gallery of Denmark
Head of Press
Jakob Fibiger Andreasen
T +45 3374 8474
M +45 2961 6949    

City of Copenhagen
The Technical and Environmental Administration
Centre for Park and Nature
Head of Centre
Jon Pape
T +45 3366 3402

Updated: 8.may.2018
Webmaster: Webmaster
SMK Logo