SUND Nature Park | Copenhagen, Denmark | SLA

SUND Nature Park
Photographer: SLA, © SLA

SUND Nature Park by SLA is a whole new type of modern campus park that strengthens the good study and research life while providing a wide range of biological, functional and social values to the surrounding city.

Research and public life fused
SUND Nature Park surrounds the iconic Mærsk Tower – University of Copenhagen’s new health sciences research-complex – and creates an ideal environment for the good study and research life. Here, the built and grown environment melt together in outdoor study places, green resting areas and plenty of opportunities for informal social gathering. Nature flows in and out of the building, thus creating the best possible setting for a healthy and inspiring research and study life.

SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Stamers Kontor, © SLA
SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Stamers Kontor, © SLA

The park is also a generous gesture to the rest of Copenhagen. In the public park, research and ordinary life merge and become an integral part of everyday life in the Nørrebro neighborhood. With its wild nature and open and fully accessible design, SUND Nature Park is aimed to meet the modern city dwellers’ demand and need for nature in the city: From playing on the lush green lawns, taking quick naps amongst the wild nature beds, or spontaneous picnics with friends at the park’s benches and tables. All is possible and encouraged.

SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Stamers Kontor, © SLA
SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Jens Lindhe, © SLA

Grazing commons restored
SUND Nature Park rehabilitates Copenhagen’s old public grazing commons, which until the 1840s stretched all the way to Inner Nørrebro, using hawthorn bushes, nature meadows and oak trees. At the same time, the park has been supplied with a great number of exotic tree species with different cultural and biological origins as an homage to the multicultural Nørrebro. The mix of foreign and resident trees and plants not only makes the park’s city nature richer and varied to look, smell and experience – the park also becomes more sustainable and adaptable to future climate change.

SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Jens Lindhe, © SLA
SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Jens Lindhe, © SLA

Sustainability and climate adaptation as a resource
The project is state-of-the-art in terms of sustainability and climate adaptation. The entire park is designed to handle even the most extreme cloud bursts – the so-called 100-year events – protecting the surrounding buildings and roads from flooding. All rainwater from both park, building and green roofs is collected and naturally cleansed in the park and contained in large underground reservoirs. From here, it is re-used for irrigation and for toilet flush in the building. Finally, the SUND Nature park is also adding to Copenhagen’s world-renowned cycling culture through innovative cycling solutions, including underground bicycle parking with room for 1,000 bikes.

SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Emilie Koefoed, © SLA

Nørrebro’s new gathering point
With SLA’s design, SUND Nature Park has become a new green destination and a social meeting point for researchers and students as well as the local Copenhageners. It supports world-leading health science research; while also strengthening the city’s sustainability and opportunities for good nature experiences for all.

SUND Nature Park
Photographer: Emilie Koefoed, © SLA

SUND Nature Park

Landscape architect: SLA
Collaborators: C.F. Møller, Rambøll, Aggebo & Henriksen, HedeDanmark, Byggros, Birkholm Nursery

Client: Danish Building and Property Agency and University of Copenhagen SUND
Type: 1st prize in international competition
Realization: 2017
Area: 37.000 m2

2019 WLA Awards Shortlist – Built Large category