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Ambitious new urban space landmark in Copenhagen Science City underway

The new University of Copenhagen innovation centre Lighthouse is hidden in a maze of hedges, hoardings and bollards

Construction projects that cross property lines are rare. They come with a whole subset of challenges above and beyond the ones characteristic to all projects involving land. None the less, four Copenhagen Science City partners are now starting construction on an inviting and green oasis connecting them to each other around University of Copenhagen’s new innovation centre “Lighthouse”. By Jes Andersen.

A patchwork of land and landowners

Lighthouse occupies University of Copenhagen and Royal Danish Library buildings and is surrounded by a patchwork of land owned by these as well as University Hospital Rigshospitalet and University College Copenhagen. Students and staff at all four institutions are invited to use the centre, but the whole area is a maze of not very inviting hedges, walls and hoardings.

Cutting down hedges and knocking over hoardings may seem like a small thing, but it has huge symbolic value. We are co-creating a physical landmark that visually and practically brings us even closer together in Copenhagen Science City”: Kristoffer Klebak, Head of Secretariat, Copenhagen Science City.

Barriers replaced by inviting urban space

All barriers between the four landowners are now coming down. They will be replaced by walking and cycling paths, cosy outdoor tables, and beds of wildflowers. Financing for the project comes from the university, university library, university college and university hospital. New signage will make it clear, that Lighthouse and its surroundings are an integral part of the innovation district Copenhagen Science City and open to all innovation partners.

We went into this project hoping to just cut down a few hedges. Once the partners understood the vision of the project, they all proposed more ambitious ideas that will now be part of the project. I am very grateful for the good will of all the project partners”: Kristoffer Klebak, Head of Secretariat, Copenhagen Science City.

Innovation crossing barriers

Lighthouse is a 1,200 m2 innovation centre featuring office space for start-ups launched by students and researchers, space for lectures in innovation and entrepreneurship and opportunities for research in innovation methods. It was inaugurated in November 2022 and already houses teams spanning all six UCPH faculties as well as Rigshospitalet, University College Copenhagen, The Royal Danish Academy and KEA Copenhagen School of Design and Technology.

An innovation district in the heart of Copenhagen

Copenhagen Science City is a two square kilometre innovation district in the heart of the Danish capital. Here, University of Copenhagen, University Hospital Rigshospitalet and University College Copenhagen are working to create optimal conditions for students and reseachers dreaming of starting a business, and for companies who need to develop, validate or test their products in collaboration with the knowledge institutions.