Novo Nordisk
Nature Park

A public park with maximum nature value and minimal maintenance for the Novo Nordisk Headquarters.

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Kristoffer Holm Pedersen (paternity leave)

Head of Communications

Location

Bagsværd, Denmark

Size

31,000 m2

Year

2010 — 2014

Client

Novo Nordisk

Role

Lead landscape architect

Partners & Collaborators

Henning Larsen Architects, NIRAS

Inspired by Scandinavian nature, SLA has created a unique public park with maximum nature value and minimal maintenance. The nature park provides a strong, green brand and a recreational destination for both employees at the new Novo Nordisk Headquarters, visitors, and residents to enjoy.

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The new headquarters for Novo Nordisk houses the health care company’s top management and 1,100 administrative staff members. The surrounding landscape interprets the Scandinavian forest and hilly dead ice-topography and creates a stress-relieving and recreational outdoor space for the employees.

The park holds a 100% water balance, which means that all rainwater falling in the area and on the building is collected and reused for irrigation of the park’s many large trees and diverse vegetation. This makes the landscape robust towards climate change and it provides both an ecological value and great cost savings.

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“In Novo Nordisk's new park the boundaries between worklife and leisure disappear. Green experiences, forest sounds and fresh air become natural elements of a day's work.”

The nature park’s planting scheme shows a wide palette of native plants. More than 2,000 new trees will over time grow into clearly defined small ’forests’ and self-regulating biotopes. The vegetation is designed to have a wild expression and evolve with natural succession and minimal care. The park trails are designed to provide the user with the greatest possible experience – spatially, topographic and textural. They are tailored to give a sensuous variation of light, shadow, colors and sounds. The curved courses of the paths provide varied and unpredictable experiences in the daily transit through the park from one building to another.

Novo Nordisk Nature Park offers an informal green frame for both the indoor and outdoor lives of the employees. Here, the boundaries between work and leisure are erased when nature experiences become a daily part of the everyday life at Novo Nordisk. The area’s biodiversity is monitored, and rare species of insects have been found in what used to be a parking lot in a grey, industrial area.

fig. 7 Light plan. Slightly changing light in the park gives sensuous, atmospheric experiences and a safe walk through the park, evenduring the dark winter months.
fig. 8 Due to the "(...) exceptionally strong connection between architecture, functions, and light," the project was awarded the Danish Lighting Award in 2014.
fig. 10 Dead trees increase biodiversity and benefit the park's natural ecosystem by providing habitats for beetles, fungi, and animals - that will strengthen the park in the long run.
fig. 9 Park, green roofs, rainwater management, and building are closely interwoven. In 2014, the project was awarded the Scandinavian Green Roof Award for its solutions.

Fundamentals

Come explore the fundamentals of our office together with us

fund. 19

Essay: The Bark Room

“Bark is both living and dead, growing and cracking, a shell, a protective layer and an integral part of the wood’s tissue. It’s the bark structure and the way it peels, which separates the different…

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fund. 12

Mist

Mist is a phenomenon caused by small droplets of water suspended in air. Physically, it is an example of a dispersion. It is most commonly seen where warm, moist air meets sudden cooling, such as…

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fund. 26

Atmosphere

“Atmosphere is a thin film of enclosure around our world. Without our vaporous, water filled atmosphere, life on Earth – or indeed life anywhere – would not exist. But atmosphere is also what you sense…

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fund. 25

Roots

“A tree consists of three parts: Its foliage, its trunk, and its roots. All three parts are important for the aesthetic feeling of nature. But of these three I find the roots most intriguing, most…

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fund. 27

White

“In the beginning was chaos. While the universe began to expand after Big Bang it also decreased in temperature. It became more and more ordered. With that order, the Universe changed its background colour toward…

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fund. 26

Sound

“Sound. The soundtrack of our lives often passes us by without us noticing. But I have begun noticing the poetry of the noises around me. The rhythm and the song of the poet. The calling…

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fund. 20

Sakuteiki
– The Book of Garden

Sakuteki – The Book of Garden is a manual, a textbook for Japanese gardeners in the 11th century. This introduction sounds like this: “In making the garden, you should first understand the overall principles. According…

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