November 25, 2005

Protection Hearing

Borgermestervangen, Copenhagen

The Special Building Authority has at its meeting on 17 November 2005 proposed that the Railway Freight Station connected with the warehouse building and the Custom House at Borgmestervangen 5, 7 and 17, unregistered railway property, Udenbys Klædebo Quarter, Copenhagen, be protected.

The Building Authority’s recommendation

The Special Building Authority states: “The Authority finds that the warehouse building consisting of an office building integrated with a hall with loading ramps, together with the custom house lying behind it, at Borgmestervangen 5, 7 and 17, Copenhagen, have the cultural historic and architectural qualities to justify protection.

The Freighthalls has been a loading station for railway freight, and as such this is a building type that has been a constant component of every station facility in Denmark, whereas the adjacent custom house characterizes the type of facility found only in the larger cities. In addition to being representative of a typical but today more and more rare type of building, the warehouse building located in Nørrebro, due to its integration with a neo-classic administration building and its impressively long and beautifully crafted storage hall, is completely unique in relation to the more humble warehouses in the provinces.

Architecturally, the two brick buildings – the office building and the custom house – present a fine, modest neo-classicism, where the office building is characterized by a very fine gable, exposed brick work, finely proportioned windows and doors and hipped roof. In addition, there is the long storage hall, which is an example of the period’s proud traditions for carpentry; with the rhythmically placed doorways, the supported overhang and the skylights’ division of the roof construction, a powerful building with a strong character is created, where the structural principle is clearly seen.

In addition, the warehouse building has cultural historic significance for understanding the history of Outer Nørrebro’s industrially conditioned development. In a time when most large industry in the area has been closed down, the warehouse building tells the story of the importance of infrastructure’s for the location of industry in Copenhagen’s past. In the fully developed city at the beginning of the last century, railways were located where there still was room for them. The Lygten station, used for weekend trips out of the city, and the workday station, Nørrebro, and the warehouse building are an integrated whole that tells us about the development and diversity within the railway structure, and how the location of the railway strongly contributed to creation of a whole quarter – Outer Nørrebro – with the many industries originally located here, together with housing for the workers.

The Building Authority finds that the fundamental values to be protected in the building complex at Borgmestervangen in relation to the administrative building are connected with the building’s architectural appearance with its fine masonry, the window and roof construction, and the inner stairway’s robust but also elegant form with the banister elements embedded in the steps of the stairway.

The fundamental values to be protected in the storage halls are connected with the roof’s overhang over the rail and road ramps, the closed character and the many portals, and inside, the visible rich carpentry of the ceiling and walls as well as the skylights. The Building Authority finds that it is thus not compatible with ensuring the values to be protected to insulate the building.

In regard to future restoration, the Building Authority finally recommends that the newer partitions in the administration building be removed and the original division of spaces be re-established.


Comments can be sent to the Cultural Heritage Administration. Comments must be received by 1 April 2006.

Cultural Heritage Administration will then decide whether the building shall be protected, at the latest 3 months after that date.


Until the protection decision is made, no construction work can be carried out besides ordinary maintenance, unless the Cultural Heritage Administration gives permission.
This is in accordance with § 6, 3 in the law on protection of building and city environments.


The Cultural Heritage Administration will announce the proposal in the local district and/or daily newspapers. This announcement will also state the deadline for sending comments to the Administration.