The VM Houses--shaped like a V and an M when seen from Google Earth--are the first residential projects to be built in the new district of Copenhagen known as Ørestaden.
Through a series of transformations the block is opened up, and twisted and turned to ensure maximum views of the surrounding landscapes and suburbs, as well as eliminate the vis-a-vis between the blocks.
The V house is conceived as a balcony condo; the M-house as an Unite d’Habitation version 2.0. But where Le Corbusier designed narrow flats surrounding hundreds of meters of dead end corridors, the zigzagging M-house ensures that all corridors have views and daylight in both directions. These openings transform the circulation into an attractive social space. For the south façade which faces the park, we designed a new type of balcony: a wedge-shaped plane that combines minimum shade with maximum cantilever. On a warm summer afternoon, the wall of balconies form a vertical backyard community, creating connections to neighbours in a vertical radius of 30 feet / 10 meters.
As a result of the zigzagging, stepping, sloping, intricate circulation and multilevel apartments, the VM houses are populated by a swarm of different apartments.
Out of 225 units there are more than 80 unique types. The many multilevel apartment types interlock in complex compositions on the façade, transforming the exterior of the VM houses in to a three dimensional game of tetris.
Photo credits: JDS Architects.