C.F. Møller Architects - Maersk Tower, extension of the Panum complex at the University of Copenhagen
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Maersk Tower, extension of the Panum complex at the University of Copenhagen

C.F. Møller Architects

Education  /  Completed
C.F. Møller Architects
The Maersk Tower is a state-of-the-art research building whose innovative architec-ture creates the optimum framework for world-class health research and makes it a landmark in Copenhagen, where it also contributes positively to linking the universi-ty together with the city and the surrounding neighbourhood.

The Tower is an extension of Panum, the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, and contains both research and teaching facilities, as well as a conference centre with auditoriums and meeting rooms, which are connected to the latest technology. With its easily readable and dynamically curved shape, the 15 storey re-search tower stands as a sculptural and identity-creating linchpin for the University's Faculty of Health Sciences, while at the same time forming a visible and open link be-tween the city and the North Campus

In order to create architecture for world-class health research, it is important to design a venue with many opportunities for coming together that transcend different disciplines, the general public and the research community. This helps to communicate the research activities, leading to knowledge sharing and inspiration for new and groundbreaking re-search.

Transparent and welcoming
The Tower rests on a low star-shaped base that reaches out into the landscape towards the city and contains all the shared and public facilities such as lecture halls, class-rooms, the canteen, show lab, conference rooms and the book café. The foyer can also be found in the base, where the entrance staircase stands like a piece of furniture in the room, with its warm wooden surface inviting you to pause on the elevated seating steps.

The base connects the functions of the existing Panum complex with the Maersk Tower. The central space of the base forms an open and dynamic gathering place where re-searchers, students and guests meet and cross paths while heading to and from their activities. A deliberate layout of the functions of the base ensures short distances from the central space, creating a bigger interface between researchers and students as they move around between the base's various facilities.

The proportions of the base are carefully adjusted to the lower buildings in the existing Panum complex, which the Maersk Tower is connected to. The existing Panum, built in the 1970s, is considered to be a masterpiece of brutalism, and the Maersk Tower refers to it clearly both in terms of colour and façade rhythm. But unlike the existing Panum, which appears introverted, the base of the Maersk Tower embraces the city and invites the public in.

With its transparent façade, the entire base appears open and welcoming, and from Campus Park, you can follow the many activities going on in the base. At the same time the transparent façade allows the interior of the building to blend in with the external green landscape.

Optimal conditions for innovative research
In the Tower itself are research facilities, with innovative and modern laboratories. A con-siderable focus on visibility and transparency in research is underlined by the use of glass in the interior décor while plug-and-play functions ensures both scientific innova-tion and flexibility. On each floor the Tower’s functions are linked together in an efficient loop, which gives shorter distances and strengthens opportunities for cooperation.

The Tower is linked both horizontally and vertically by an open atrium, where a continu-ous sculptural spiral staircase both visually and physically connects the fifteen floors and creates an extensive three-dimensional sense of space. Close to the staircase on each floor there is an open and inviting “Science Plaza”, which serves as a natural meet-ing place and communal space for the many employees. A large vertical shard of glass in the copper shutters of the façade, makes the spiral staircase and the Researcher Squares visible from the outside and ensures, together with the open base, visibility in relation to the activities of the tower as well as a spectacular and inspiring views over Copenhagen from the Science Plazas.

Innovative façade
The façade of the tower is divided into a relief-like grid structure of floor-high copper-covered shutters. The copper coating sends a greeting to Copenhagen's many copper church steeples, which, together with the Maersk Tower poke up amidst the homogene-ous cityscape At the same time the shutters give the façade a deep relief effect and break down the considerable scale of the Tower, while the vertical structure of the shut-ters enhances the vertical appearance of the tower.

The shutters of the façade function as movable climate shields, which, depending on weather conditions, automatically opens or closes and ensures a comfortable indoor climate. The shutters, shield against direct sunlight and overheating while at the same time daylight is filtered through its fine-meshed perforations.

The Campus Park

By designing the building as a tower, there is room for a green and urban campus park, which is open to everyone and therefore involves and develops the surrounding neigh-bourhood. With the Campus Park, the University opens itself to the local area in an at-tractively designed and varied green urban space that is open to everyone. The Campus Park offers outdoor study and recreation space for researchers and students, as well as new green nature experiences for all of Nørrebro’s residents.

The Maersk Tower has Denmark’s most energy-efficient laboratories, where waste energy is recycled to a hitherto unprecedented level, which, in combination with the movable heat shielding of the façade and other energy-saving measures, makes the building a pioneer of energy-efficient laboratory construction with a maximum primary consumption of only 40 kWh/m2. This corresponds to a halving of a traditional laboratory building.


 The Danish Property Agency for the University of Copenhagen; supported by the A.P. Møller Foundation
 42700 mq
 C.F. Møller Architects
 Mads Mandrup Hansen, Claus Møller, Gunner Nielsen, Lene Marie Kappel, Søren Jørgensen, Bent Møller Petersen, Dorte Sibast, Jacob Torp Hansen, Andreas Siem-Klifoth, Jan Besiakov, Lars-Frederik Kellermann, Peter Erler, Rikke Hect-Pedersen, Susanne Almroth, Tina V. Hallal Hansen, Martin Møller, Geir Ármann Gíslason, Henrik Sepstrup.
 Landscape architect: SLA, Engineer: Rambøll,
 Adam Mørk



Simplicity, clarity and unpretentiousness, the ideals that have guided our work since the practice was established in 1924, are continually re-interpreted to suit individual projects, always site-specific and combined with sustainable, innovative and socially responsible design solutions.

Over the years, we have won a large number of national and international competitions and major architectural awards. Our work has been on show at architectural exhibitions all over the world as well as published in books and leading professional journals.

With our integrated design approach which seamlessly blends urban design, landscape, building design and building component design, C.F. Møller has received much acclaim for international projects of reference like the unique University Campus in Aarhus, the National Gallery in Copenhagen and many others.


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