#CAFx2016: Copenhagen Architecture Festival

Last updated: 1 March 2018

Copenhagen may not have a decent open house event but it does have probably the world’s biggest architecture-cum-film festival, on its third run-out this year. The Copenhagen Architecture Festival (aka CAFx; Twitter | Facebook), took place from 10-20 March, still dominated by film but accompanied by debates, walks etc in 12 themes at more than 30 venues, with presences also in Aarhus (AAFx) and Aalborg (ALAFx).

Of the themes, Københavns Forvandlinger stuck out as by far the biggest – subdivide, guys! The most eye-catching events were sold out when I looked, but at least there was some hand-wringing around gentrificationCopenhagen vs the rest of Denmark also looked on point.

Providing further food for thought was Det urealiserede København, showcasing the 1960s proposal for a motorway round the Lakes, which has a certain perverse appeal in the face of the bucolic set of potential projects generally rolled out. 2015’s six best, which you could visit on a guided bike tour, included Cykelslangen, which surely opened in 2014 (and still makes me want to poke someone in the eye). But it’s not all about Copenhagenized and Copenhagen Dreaming – two housing projects, Brygge Blomsten and Sundholm Syd, were also recognised.

Film i s-toget meant that instead of TV 2 News the screens in the trains showed historical film clips, if only after midnight and at the weekend. More multimedia in the shape of three new audio walks, with one on (inevitably) Vesterbro bag facadenLyt til København offers short recordings made at random spots, while Ghettoblaster from young folk in Nørrebro probably does what it says on the tin. Part of a Lyd og rum theme, there was also a workshop on Havenlyd og byrum, the sounds of the lost harbour.

In the handful of place-centred events, an exhibition looked at DSB Byen, the area behind the central station, which we nosed about back in August 2014. The creative classes have now moved in, with a three part event from AMPD (Facebook), themselves based on Otto Busses Vej.

The Brønshøj council estate of Tingbjerg, designed by Steen Eiler Rasmussen in the 1950s, surely merited its own theme, like Aarhus’ Gellerup – so will get its own post shortly here.

Website critique: it’s very blue, and I wish things wouldn’t slide up and down when you hover over them. Then there’s a Mine Favoritter section, but no way of favouriting things. Would never have happened on my watch. On the plus side this year you can filter by type – see walks, including one on bikes, one on the gentrifying tracks of Nordre Fasanvej (involves games) and yup! Vesterbro.

Interestingly, the EN button takes you to an on-the-fly Google translation. Google as globish? As far as #some goes, it’s strictly PR in best exclamatory style! No attempts at coverage or recordings of the very interesting talks etc for those not able to attend. Instead there was Snapchat.

CAFx in previous years:

  • 2015: in both CPH and Aarhus, now without the FILM but still mainly film; included the now obligatory A3 newspaper thing, and launched via Instagram and Snapchat, spot the target group (prompting someone to ask if the prog was available digitally); otherwise, pretty much as you were, with 60+ events/films, including a salon/debate in The Silo, possibly on DR K, a performance in the tunnels under Carlsberg and the mysterious House nr 2 at the central station (aka the Royal waiting room), from Kontoret for undergrundsanliggender
  • 2014: the catchily named Copenhagen Architecture Festival x FILM, with walks! the website is one of those one page scrollers with massive pics, and for some reason the text is centred (update: still), but let’s get over that and cut to the chase…the festival has six themes but no obvious way of finding the walks – not a ‘type’ on the programme page; a combination of CTRL+F and searching tracked them down, inc:
    • vilde huse at Christianshavn, looking at “the unique house and home architecture on Christianshavn, with a discussion of identity and self-understanding in relation to property”; there’s a map showing the 7km route, but only as a photo on Facebook, which is a bit of a let down
    • Nørrebro Station: a journey in time – now you’re talking! presented/led by Mette Willert (Digital Marketing Manager, DSB) and Sigrid Kipper Thau (event planner); curated at #DSBkunentogturvæk (ie 10 photos from @trinepingel)
    • also a showing of Lost Rivers followed by input from Line Kjær of Kontoret for Undergrundsanliggender (The Office for Underground Affairs) and discussion with Anders Jensen (project manager for Ladegårds Å / Åbn Åen) and Flemming Rafn Thomsen (Tredje Natur), chaired by Annette Skov
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