The City Dune / SEB Bank

Turning a bank's headquarter into a generous, playful, and climate-adapted public place.

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Kristoffer Holm Pedersen

Head of Communications

Location

Copenhagen, Denmark

Size

7,300 m2

Year

2007 — 2011

Client

SEB Bank and Pension

Role

Lead landscape architect

Partners & Collaborators

Lundgaard & Tranberg, Rambøll

The green urban realm The City Dune for SEB Bank’s Copenhagen headquarters is a green and welcoming public space located near the harbor front for employees and local citizens to enjoy.

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SLA has created the iconic urban space that connects the two buildings, making up SEB Bank’s Danish headquarters. As well as an obvious place for the employees at SEB Bank to socialize and enjoy their lunch, the City Dune has quickly become a popular place for recreational activities on both workdays and weekends.

The City Dune is designed as a prolific Swedish mountainside with a terrain that rises from street level to the second floor. Steps and inclined surfaces foster a new relation between the urban space and the two office buildings at different levels and allow for opportunities for both play and stays.

fig. 4 The City Dune is constructed as a green roof on top of the bank's parking spaces
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The City Dune is Copenhagen’s first 100% acclimatized urban space in relation to rainwater management. The white concrete surfaces reflect the heat, and all rainwater is collected and used for irrigation and for cooling of the urban space in summer. The Nordic vegetation and trees provide shade on hot summer days and shelter when it rains as well as providing SEB Bank with a strong and unique Nordic identity.

“SEB is living proof that you can create value with urban space. The branding value of our landscape is five times bigger than what a regular branding campaign with the same budget could have given us.”

— Peter Høltermand, CEO of SEB, Arkitekten March 2011
fig. 7 Inspiration photo: The dunes of Råbjerg Mile
fig. 8 Inspiration photo: The dunes of Råbjerg Mile

Fundamentals

Have a look into the fundamentals of our office

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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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. 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. 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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