Universal Design and Accessibility

Buildings for all

R Hjortshoj Koege Nord web

We focus on user needs and give advise on universal design and accessibility. Through our architecture we strive to strengthen mobility and social inclusion.

“For us, architectural quality is also functionality, and we see accessibility and universal design as a professional challenge and a responsibility we need to accomplish. That is why we create architecture that promotes user access, movement and participation in the community."

– Kresten Kirkegaard, Architect MAA

We advise on Universal Design and Accessibility

Our consultancy begins with an account of accessibility and universal design, so we can identify the social ambition of the project on a common basis. In the early stages of the project, our Accessibility Auditor and Master in Inclusive Architecture (formerly called Universal Design and Accessibility) examines, who the users of the building are and what their different needs are.

Based on the analysis, we make use of the resources and physical initiatives of the building best possible and create beautiful, economical and user-friendly solutions. They relate to interior design, choice of material, colours, contrasts, signage and our senses.

We work with accessibility and universal design regardless of the type of building. As a minimum, we ensure that your building complies with the accessibility and usability conditions within the International Standard ISO 21542. If the vision for social inclusion sprouts in you, our specialist will develop implementation strategies that promote social diversity.

Download Guide to Universal Design

“Guide to Universal Design - a checklist to promote inclusion into the built environment” is a tool made by Dissing+Weitling for architects, construction engineers and designers who want to incorporate Universal Design solutions in their work.

Read and download online version in English.

The concepts in short

In Denmark, universal design is a wider term and an enhancement of accessibility, and although the two concepts deal with user mobility, their approach to social equality is different. Accessibility describes access for users with disabilities, and this often means disability-friendly solutions. Universal design does not divide users into disabled and non-disabled groups, but looks at all users' physical needs from the skateboarder with the broken leg, the businesswoman in stilettos to the elderly with impaired hearing and vision. Disabled is not something we are, it is something we become if physical barriers in the construction exist.

In practice, this means that accessibility handles the minimum technical and legal requirements defined in the Danish Building Regulations. Universal design, on the other hand, is a social set of values and a holistic design method that meets all the different user needs throughout life.

  • Torben Lindquist

    Torben Lindquist
    Partner, Constructing Architect MAK (Building)
    +45 2485 5079
  • Andrea Tryggvadóttir

    Andrea Tryggvadóttir
    Architect MAA, DGNB Consultant, Accessibility Auditor
    +45 3133 8673