Foster + Partners’ Soundport Headquarters for Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S breaks ground in Copenhagen

Ferring pharmaceuticals a/s
© Foster + Partners

Located on the urban fringe of Copenhagen in Kastrup, the site occupies a pivotal waterfront position alongside the Øresund crossing between Copenhagen and Malmö, and is next to Copenhagen International Airport. Bordered by predominantly low-rise development, it affords fantastic views towards Malmö and the Swedish coast – where the company was founded.

The building sits on a large stone plinth which acts as the first line of defence against floods and integrates the design of street furniture and landscape elements. The lightweight glass building ‘floats’ above, in contrast to the heavy plinth below. The six stacked floors and roof canopy cantilever out to further capture the surrounding views and create self-shaded spaces on each floor.

Grant Brooker, of Foster + Partners, who led the design of the building said:

We wanted to create a very strong base that directly connects to and celebrates this unique waterside location and lifts the building above that level – so that there are uninterrupted views from the ground floor to the strait and the surrounding harbour.

Ferring pharmaceuticals a/s
© Foster + Partners

The triangular form of the building is driven by the shape of the site, surrounded by water on all sides. At the heart of the building is a generous internal atrium with panoramic views, comprising an entrance lobby, café and break-out space, as well as catered conference facilities and space for social events. Access to the floors above is via a feature staircase or glass lifts that further animate the atrium space.

The layout of the interior spaces was derived from in-depth studies of Ferring’s way of working. Through observation and targeted interviews, the design team gained valuable insight into the processes involved in the development of pharmaceutics, creating workspaces that are tailored to the company’s specific requirements. Offices and laboratories – for quiet, individual work – are situated on the edges, to take advantage of the views and natural light, while more collaborative meeting spaces are located towards the centre, overlooking the top-lit atrium and other social spaces creating a vibrant core of the building throughout each level.

Ferring pharmaceuticals a/s
© Foster + Partners

Brooker recalls that, “For such a significant project it was vital that the building reflected the personality of the organisation and that it would create a collaborative and flexible working environment to carry them through the next century.”

The building façade has a very strong horizontal emphasis, in consonance with the surrounding low-rise urban fabric. The technical plant and building cores are incorporated into the cantilevering roof form, giving it a sleek profile. The geometry of the atrium roof is a form-found, glazed catenary gridshell, reflecting the forces acting upon it, allowing for thin, lightweight structural members. Daylight streams into the interior spaces, creating a light-filled, unique workplace that brings the whole range of Ferring’s activities under one roof.

Brooker added:

As we break ground today we embark on the next stage of this project’s exciting journey. Working with the Ferring team and the authorities here in Copenhagen has been an absolute pleasure and along with our collaborating engineers and designers, we look forward to realising this extraordinary building.

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

Leave a Comment