Waste is potentially our largest resource – it certainly is our cheapest and most environmentally friendly one. With recycled and upcycled building materials you can create both healthy and aesthetically pleasing urban spaces.

By exploiting the potential of materials and energy resources in all technical and biological solutions, the goal is to create Denmark’s most sustainable dining house. It is based on this ambition that the house will function as a self-sufficient community centre / public kitchen and raise awareness on the effect of our daily choices regarding food. A common dining house where excess materials constantly move from one system to another, thus completely eliminating the idea of waste.


Development project

700 m²

Denmark, Valby


FB Gruppen A/S



In progress

2016 –


Partner in charge: Anders Lendager

Project leader: Simon Kjems-Møller

Employees: Stig Ammitzbøll Jørgensen, Signe Balthazar Munk, Aleksandar Tkalec, Daniel Veenboer, Maja Horvat


The Municipality of Copenhagen is working on a holistic approach to sustainability. In rethinking the local plan for Grønttorvet the municipality has used its sustainability tool, which points to a number of considerations within each of the three spheres – society, economy and environment – to determine specific areas of action for urban development. Within the five areas of sustainability we work with, particular focus has been given to the “Material Loop” for this project.

The analysis and further work on building urban spaces and a communal eatery in the future district of the old Grønttorvet, thus directly addresses the municipal strategy for the development of the area.


The new dining house builds on the ‘Spis Din Park’ (Eat Your Park) concept. The house becomes largely self-sufficient thanks to the nearby orangery.

The structure is built exclusively out of upcycled materials from the old Grønttorvet. The dining house will be an example of how to mitigate climate change by reusing existing building materials such as concrete (33,300 cubic metres), brick (4000 square metres) and glass (31,000 kilos) already present on site. In this way we ensure that existing materials are used optimally. By upcycling materials we minimize the dining house’s total CO2 emissions by approximately 70 %.

The eatery will be resource efficient and at the same time we ensure that the unique history and identity of Grønttorvet becomes part of the new story of the area. The dining house will engage the local residents and enhance the identity of the New Valby through its green and appealing profile.

  • 1. Park and promenade

  • 2. New attraction

  • 3. A common house for the area

  • 4. A dining house and orangery

  • 5. Integration of park and promenade

  • 6. Built out of materials from Grønttorvet

Waste to Wealth

The use of upcycled materials has a number of environmental and economic benefits.

First, they minimize the utilization of the earth’s dwindling resources. Many materials have an expiration date today and upcycling is an effective way to counteract this.

Secondly, the use of upcycled materials helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, which pollutes soils and threatens biodiversity. The waste that does not end up in landfills is in large part incinerated, which releases the latent CO2 and results in a negative environmental impact, despite the district heating created through the process.

Thirdly, the amount of energy used in recycling or upcycling is a fraction of the energy used when converting raw materials to building components. The products have already had a application in a different context, which makes them CO2-free, so to speak, apart from the small amount of energy used to transform/transport them. The less energy a material requires in its transformation, the better!

In order to choose the best materials in terms of environmental, economic and social benefits, we analysed a wide range of materials during the development phase. The analysis revealed, among other things, the CO2 reduction potential and the climatic properties of each material. The performance of the upcycled material was then compared with standard alternatives in order to visualize the benefits gained from building with these materials.

Overall, we assessed the value/potential of existing building materials based on two parameters, which we consider to be particularly relevant in ensuring that the reuse of materials will in fact create a resource-conscious and sustainable district in the long run.

The materials we took into consideration thus meet one of the following requirements:

Materials that embody the identity of the area and have a special value in relation to cultural heritage.

Materials that minimize total CO2 emissions when reused and have a special value in relation to environmental performance.

Building-Integrated Ag

In Grønttorvet’s new dining house, nature and agriculture are invited indoors. In this way the building gives back some of the green area it takes from the park. The common dining house becomes a place, where the indoors and outdoors are not mutually exclusive, but rather work in synergy for the well-being of the entire community.

As part of the focus on biodiversity, our ambition is for the dining house to be self-sufficient in vegetables and herbs through organic, controlled-environment agriculture. There is increasing interest in locally grown produce, allotment gardening and food sharing. In this regard the dining house offers a unique opportunity to eat locally grown vegetables during the daily communal meals, which the residents themselves may have helped produce and prepare.

What earlier may have been a logistical headache, now becomes nothing but a trip to the greenhouse to harvest some fresh ingredients.

Adaptable Spaces

Grønttorvet’s common dining house is thought of as an open and inviting space that is transparent, thereby disseminating the house’s many diverse activities.

The dining house becomes a large multifunctional room, where a variety of activities take place simultaneously. An engaging establishment that is open to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. The house essentially functions as a large common living/dining room in which to meet and get to know each other around the table or through common interests.

Grønttorvet’s common house is, besides the dining house itself, also a large nearby greenhouse, which will provide the kitchen with a year-round supply of fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables. Both the dining house and the greenhouse acquire a uniform pavilion-like expression, and together form the frame for a new space that connects to the promenade overlooking the park.

All spaces in the house are physically connected, thus supporting the informal meeting of neighbours in the area. The house’s activities will be constantly changing throughout the course of the day. From morning coffee and pilates to late night co-working space and cooking club, the house is active at all hours of the day.