The New National Archive, Copenhagen

The new National Archive built in a continuous brickwork, which provides optimal thermal conditions and acts to stabilize the internal climate of the buildings, and provides a graphic play of light and shadow


  • Culture
  • Urban


Copenhagen, Denmark






20,000 m²


OPP Pihl Arkivet A/S


Pihl & Søn A/S
Carl Bro
Schønherr Landskab KS

The design concept for the new National Archive is based on the interplay of geometric and organic elements: the simple geometric forms of the buildings combined with a landscaped promenade which runs naturally along the archive.

Both elements are inspired by the contents of the archive, the writings, history and cultural artifacts of Denmark. The broad surfaces of the facades are designed in a continuous brickwork relief depicting a stylized inscription inspired by ancient Viking runes to provide a graphic play of light and shadow.

The relief of the facades is reiterated in the pattern formed by intersecting pathways on the green promenade, where a diversity of flora and landscape elements provides natural enclosures for seating.

The powerful concrete and brick constructions provide optimal thermal conditions and act to stabilize the internal climate of the buildings. The green promenade is established on the roof of one of the archive buildings - 8 meters above terrain level. The area is equipped with a reservoir to collect rainwater. The roof garden is insulated for sound and heat, and effectively emits humidity which regulates the internal temperature and provides a sound microclimate.