Fitness and fun promoted at MVRDV's madcap House of Movement and Culture

It’s between the volumes where the real fun will happen though; spaces where we hint at a use, but which will become entirely user-defined
– Jacob van Rijs

Culture, health and movement are the focus at MVRDV’s new community centre in Copenhagen, which encourages adults and children alike to enjoy a better quality of life through physical activity.

Slides, fireman's poles, labyrinths, nets and climbing walls provide a means of navigating around the Ku.Be House of Culture and Movement, which is being opened today by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.

The project, designed in collaboration with ADEPT, is described as “the first of its typology – a community space which also focuses on exploring and developing our most fundamental process, movement.”

The 3,200sq m (34,400sq ft) Ku.Be facilitates both fixed and spontaneous programmes. The six main volumes have specific areas for different forms of exercise and movement – with each interior area clad in its own colour and material.

In contrast, the voids between them are left for the users to interpret how they wish and the garden outside offers interactive environments for when the activity spills from the building. This allows the site to evolve to for the specific needs and demands of its users.

The House of Culture in Movement was designed for the municipality of Frederiksberg as a focal point for both the immediate community and also the wider area of Copenhagen. The brief’s sole criteria was that the building that would bring people together and improve the quality of life.

“We designed Ku.Be to encourage the unexpected,” said MVRDV co-founder Jacob van Rijs. “Larger volumes are suited to hold performances or public meetings, smaller ones can be for exhibitions or debates. The fast-pace rooms are perfect for dance, or parkour; and zen rooms give you the contrast of yoga or meditation.

“It’s between these volumes where the real fun will happen though; spaces where we hint at a use, but which will become entirely user-defined.”

To cater for all abilities and ages, both easier and more standard ways of moving around the building are provided.

“We tried to turn your average experience of a building on its head,” said ADEPT co-founder Martin Krogh. “What would otherwise be a simple, mindless journey through the building turns into an exploration and discovery of movement.

“Here it’s you that defines the route, however you want: climbing, sliding, crawling, jumping.”

Ku.Be is MVRDV’s second completed project in Denmark this year, a few months after their Ragnarock music museum opened in the city of Roskilde.

In an exclusive interview in the current issue of CLADmag the founding partners of the practice explain the philosophy that unites their work and their hopes for the future.

MVRDV  Ku.Be House of Movement and Culture  playground  architecture  design  heath  fitness  Denmark  Frederiksberg  Crown Prince Frederik  
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Culture, health and movement are the focus at MVRDV’s new community centre in Copenhagen, which encourages adults and children alike to enjoy a better quality of life through physical activity. Slides, fireman's poles, labyrinths, nets and climbing walls provide a means of navigating around the Ku.Be House of Culture and Movement, which is being opened today by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. The project, designed in collaboration with ADEPT, is
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The facility is open to people of all ages and abilities / Adam Mørk
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