In the future Nordhavn will develop into an attractive area for a broad range of people.

We intend to illustrate this transformation from harbour to city, and have therefore envisioned the pavilion as a composition of shipping containers that tell the story of the sustainable identity of the upcoming city.

The empty shipping containers are staged through light and graphics, and for a short period of time Nordhavn is jolted to life to tell the tale of an exciting future.


Temporary pavilion

150 m²

Denmark, Copenhagen



MAPT, Cowi, Københavns Kommune, Protrans





Partners in charge: Anders Lendager, Mads Møller

Employees: Jenny Haraldsdottir


Shipping containers are the building-blocks of the pavilion. The two bottom ones are enclosed and acclimatised, while the rest are standard shipping containers that form a fascinating introvert space and create an icon visible from afar.

The reuse of containers is an example of the “Cradle to Cradle”-mentality: you take an existing product, reuse it, and instead of being “just” a container it is transformed into a new product containing new possibilities and potentials.

It is not just re-cycling, it is up-cycling, giving the product a new function and making it attractive in a new and intriguing way. That is proper sustainability, and it is one of the messages the pavilion will communicate. Re-use equals possibilities – and it can be done at any scale!


Sustainability has a lot to do with thinking holistically and about the passing of time. Therefore we use old shipping containers to create the framework of the pavilion.

In the interior, the same values apply. We use recycled materials that give the building an interesting architectural expression together with more high-tech sustainable materials. The combination creates a unique interior, that evokes more ‘eco chic’ than old used container. We want to show that if you do it well, sustainability and recycling can feel premium and exclusive as well.

After use in Nordhavn the empty containers can be used for freight operations again. The two at the bottom will be used by the Municipality of Copenhagen as a mobile pavilion – a building that allows people to hold meetings and other cultural events throughout the city. A high degree of flexibility is thought into the design which enables the pavilion to cater to many different kinds of events.


The pavilion containers can easily return to their previous life as shipping containers. This flexibility allows them to be detached from each other again for separate use. The possibilities are unlimited. In future it will be possible to build homes where the central idea is sustainability from a to z.

For example Københavns Kommune will use two of the containers as spaces for cultural events or rooms for citizen meetings.

The Climate Pavilion is a temporary building and therefore is not insulated. If it were to be used as a hose, it would need added insulation as a jacket on the outside. In this way an energy neutral house could be built in short time.


Containers are a good example of a surplus product that can be used for a lot more than just moving freight around. Several places around the world e.g. in USA, huge piles of containers are rising as mountains of human waste products. Often there the business case for shipping them back does not make sense, so they are just left where they arrive instead.

The containers in the pavilion tell the story of a temporary society where requirements and economies, life patterns and population density are changing. Our cities and architecture need to adapt to this new reality. The pavilion captures the essence of this mentality and shows in a miniature scale the flexibility of a project that has been designed for its entire life-cycle. The building blocks of the pavilion can be reconfigured in a multitude of formations according to demand. This is sustainability.