Clustered low-riseRow house
Storgaard, J. P. , J. Řrum-Nielsen, Hanne Markussen, Hanne Řrun-Nielsen | Copenhagen, Denmark | 1971-74
Image of Galgebakke...
Partial facades of typical two-story houses of prefabricated concrete panels.

ArchitectStorgaard, J. P. , J. Řrum-Nielsen, Hanne Markussen, Hanne Řrun-Nielsen
AddressG.L. Landivej/Herstedvesterveg/Kaermosevej
Building TypeClustered low-rise
Row house
Number of Dwellings0
Date Built1971-74
Dwelling Typesstudio, 1,2 & 3 br. houses
No. Floors1
Section Type1 & 2 story houses
Exterior Finish
precast concrete, wood windows
Construction TypePrecast concrete bearing walls, wood
Ancillary Servicesparking, community facilities, shops, etc.

Galgebakken is one of the early low-rise, high-density communities built in the early 1970's as a reaction to government-sponsored high-rise projects of the 1960's. While modern industrialized building techniques are employed at Galgebakken, the idea of community here may be seen as a return to traditional forms of compact, low-rise dwelling typical of rural villages and late 19th century workers' housing. Villages such as Dragor, south of Copenhagen, were not only low and dense, but also provided a high degree of social interaction among the residents and intimate interaction with natural outdoor areas, places for neighborly gathering and minor architectural improvisation.

Galgebakken consists of several hundred one and two story dwellings arranged in neighborhood clusters on a large flat site next to the older village of Herstedwester. Several different dwelling types and sizes are used here; both one and two story types as well as small dwellings for singles and elderly. But all are organized with entry, kitchen and dining areas opening to a shared, semipublic garden space with living and bedrooms opening to gardens at the rear that can be either shared or fenced off and made private. A system of prefabricated concrete panels is used for the basic structure of the dwellings. A system of wood trellises and fences is used to define space in semipublic and private garden areas. The front shared space is used for outdoor dining, casual meeting among friends and neighbors and supervised play space for small children and provides a place for the high degree of social interaction typical of the Danes. The panels used in the prefab concrete system are colored and textured in an attempt to render it as a more traditional, vernacular material. The wood accessories do much to impart the ambiance of rustic informality and allow for a certain amount of do-it-yourself additions. Like all new planned communities in Denmark, ample communal facilities including child care centers, schools, shops, and recreation areas are provided here near the center of the project as a kind of town center. Auto parking is kept in perimeter areas and pedestrian and bicycle paths connect to other parts of this district in a continuous planned system.

David Mackay, Multiple Family Housing, Architectural Book Pub. Co., New York, 1977, pp. 130-33.

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