Renovation of 6,500 m² listed building in Frederiksberg

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February 3, 2020

The listed building at Rolighedsvej 23 in Frederiksberg is being renovated by experts from Dissing+Weitling. The job demands specialist knowledge about listed buildings and logistics management to keep a workplace running for the University of Copenhagen while the renovation work is underway.

  • The large, yellow, Italian-styled brick building at Rolighedsvej 23 is tired and in need of repair. The building was built back in 1857-59 and designed by the architect H.C. Stilling. It has seen many uses over its long life, first as Københavns Sygehjem, a sort of nursing home for chronically ill citizens and civil servants to keep them from the poor house, and since as the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management – the former Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (KVL) - under the University of Copenhagen. Today the building is owned by the Danish Building and Property Agency.

  • Original

    The work on Rolighedsvej 23 is part of Dissing+Weitling’s framework agreement for technical advice for the University of Copenhagen, which includes renovation and conversion of the university's oldest building stock, with a floor area of around 200,000 m2.

  • Specialists in listed buildings

    Rolighedsvej 23 was listed in 1959, and the listing includes the main wing and three cross-wings to the north. Dissing+Weitling is working with the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces to renovate the buildings as carefully as possible and to ensure that all the conservation orders are complied with.

    “Despite its age, the building is in reasonable condition, but it needs thorough renovation externally. Internal maintenance of all the windows has already been completed over the summer. The natural slate is in disrepair, skylights leak, and the brickwork, doors and windows all need inspecting and renovation. The building is a historical gem that we’re treating with great respect and care. Moreover, we have to make sure that everything is done while the building is still being used by both students and staff at the University of Copenhagen,” said the architect running the job at Dissing+Weitling, Karsten Brandt-Olsen.

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  • Practical and aesthetic

    Several important building components besides the 1600 square metres roof covering need replacing, including roof windows and skylights. Originally, the upper storey was used as a drying loft and for storage, but later it was converted for teaching, and roof windows and skylights were fitted to let in daylight. Today, the windows are leaky and outdated, so the architects are looking for suitable new windows that meet today’s demands for energy optimisation and comfort, and which match the building’s aesthetics.

    All of the details and materials will be carefully considered, selected and fitted in close collaboration with the Agency for Culture and Palaces:

    “For example, the Agency for Culture and Palaces has asked for a colour-archaeological investigation of the layers of paint on the windows, doors and entrance facades. This will identify the colours and chronology in the layers on the oldest parts of the building. And it will give us a qualified basis for dialogue with the Agency when we choose the colours,” concluded Karsten Brandt-Olsen.

    Read also “Iconic Victoria greenhouse reincarnated as a hydroponic greenhouse”.