A summer stroll: Gurrevej and Grenhusene

Another short walk close to hand and perfect for the Danish heatwave is along Gurrevej to Grenhusene and back. Maximises shade, green areas and sniffs.

Gurrevej, a long curving street of two blocks, lies just behind Bredalsparken. From the local paper we discovered that there are nyttehaver (allotments) behind – I thought there was just parking and bins, my under-developed spatial sense didn’t realise how big the area was. So through what may be a new path we wandered in, not getting to close to people’s private gardens – space issues here! I’m never sure whether what the etiquette is in these semi-private areas – if we lived there, OK, but we didn’t see a soul, canine or other…all the same, we won’t go too often.

The area behind the first block is mainly grass, while the second, on a hot 25C day, was an oasis of flowers, fruit and vegetables, carefully tended by invisible gardeners. Next time I’ll take the camera.

the lawns of Gurrevej

the lawns of Gurrevej, the Royal Crescent of Hvidovre (photo: Forstadsmuseet)

Grenhusene is an interesting construction, built in 1957-58, again by Svenn Eske Kristensen. Untraditional in design, it  was inspired by a combination of a north African kasbah and twigs on a branch. Each little house has its own garden, although there’s a bit of a wilderness feel with plenty of overgrown areas crying out to be tidied into allotments. I’d love to get my nose into one of them – it’s a bit difficult to work out how much space there is out back.

Part of the same housing association as Bredalsparken, made up of 149 houses, 325 tenants, 50% over 50, 85 over 65, 51 children, plus lots of dogs, generally of the small and non-threatening type. While “no dogs” signs have been put up by the play areas we feel welcome due to the poo bag dispensers, the only ones in Hvidovre.

Grenhusene seen from the road

the kasbah

Photos: Forstadsmuseet.

When you come to the Biblioteksvej end you can go on to the graveyard or just walk back through an open area and Bredalsparken to collapse back onto the cushions in the garden at home.

Updates: March 2014: Grenhusene has made it to Scotland! Poul Sverrild, director of Forstadmuseet, is to give a presentation on Danish listing practices and the heritage of the welfare state at Edinburgh College of Art on 13 March, with Grenhusene cited as Denmark’s first tæt/lav byggeri (dense/low build)…proposal for listing (August 2013)

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