Located in the heart of Copenhagen’s historic Carlsberg Brewery district, the sharp lines of the new Jacobsen Hus apartments suggest their 21st-century design – But the aged bricks of the façade nod to a century and a half of local history.
The Carlsberg Brewery dates back to 1847 when Carlsberg founder J.C. Jacobsen first began using the site for brewing, bottling and fermentation research under license from the Danish king. Today, the district reflects over 150 years of Danish industry and architecture – Currently under redevelopment as Carlsberg Byen, an award-winning residential masterplan emphasizing sustainability and vibrant urban culture, contemporary buildings are now growing alongside the brewery’s historic architecture.
With Jacobsen Hus, we found an opportunity to merge Carlsberg history with contemporary Danish architecture. The façade of the 13-unit apartment is clad in weathered gray brick sourced from Søndermarkshuset, which was built on the present Jacobsen Hus location in 1878. In this way, the new apartments are a modern reimagining of local architecture: The characteristic weathering of the exterior pays allows Jacobsen Hus to blend seamlessly with adjacent historic buildings, while the clean lines and ample daylight of the apartment interiors characterize Henning Larsen’s approach to modern Scandinavian interior design.
This recycled exterior not only revitalizes local history but also represents a modern practice in sustainable construction. Recycling one ton of used brick produces 2.7 kilograms of CO2 – Producing one ton of new brick, in comparison, produces 258 kilograms of CO2. Reusing local materials drastically reduces the building’s carbon footprint, providing a local example in green architecture and representing the new Carlsberg Byen project’s sustainable goals.
Jacobsen Hus exists at the intersection of local heritage and modern architecture. With all 13 units accounted for, the new residence transforms the physical history of the Carlsberg Brewery into a sustainable element of an emerging community.