A green and lush oasis

The City of Copenhagen wanted to create a green courtyard with a focus on climate adaptation and the management of rainwater from roofs and the courtyard. The courtyard was created in collaboration with the residents and HOFOR (Greater Copenhagen Utility Company). The courtyard garden will be one of several projects in the area working to make the neighbourhood safer to explore and live in. Among the projects, facades and windows will be renovated to reduce noise nuisance, and a tunnel and light art project will make it safer and more secure for schoolchildren to get to and from the school on Hovmestervej.

  • Place

    Hovmestervej / Tomsgårdsvej / Frederiksborgvej

  • Status


  • Price

    Ca. 22 mio. kr.

  • Area

    6400 m²

  • Advisors


  • Developer

    Københavns Kommune

  • Entreprenører

    Scheller, Hougaard & Petersen (SHP) - Egen Vinding og Datter - Næste - Logik og Co.

  • Finansieret af

    Købehavns Kommune, Bolig- og Planstyrelsen, HOFOR og AB Storgården

  • Projektperiode


  • Samlet grønt areal

    Eksisterende: 2300 m2 / Fremtidens Gårdhave: 3400 m2

Technical details
Gården før
Gården før
Gården før
Gården før
Gården før
Gården før

The Courtyard Garden of the Future at Tomsgårdsvej

The courtyard is divided into three seperate areas: The Promenade and the Path of Discovery, The Grove and The Meadow.

To address rainwater management, roof water is channelled through the building and managed in the ground storage in front of the winding wall made from rammed earth, which together with a gently sloping terrain and pathway forms a cohesive courtyard. The wall divides the promenade into pockets for sitting and playing, while the vegetation provides the experience of being in a green oasis in a variety of ways.

Read more about the different areas

The Promenade and the Path of Discovery
The perimeter zone along the building is called The Promenade. The existing open emergency rescue zone is retained and additional pockets for lounging, washing and parking bicycles, and drying racks for laundry are provided. At each end of the promenade, recycling sheds are established. Existing trees are preserved along the promenade and lightly deciduous trees are planted. A belt of swaying grasses and flowering perennials are planted along the façade. Access from the promenade to The Grove and The Meadow is accessible via two main paths which are designed for accessibility, suitable for prams, bicycles, mobility scooters, walkers and garden tractors. There are also several shortcuts and a 450 metre long path of discovery that winds around the entire courtyard and connects the three areas and two levels of the garden.

The Grove
The eastern part of the courtyard is called The Grove. As a natural extension of the dense and wild vegetation towards the school, a lightly deciduous stem forest is planted here, visually shielding the courtyard from Frederiksborgvej. This creates a shaded space that encourages play and movement. In the grove, a nature-themed play area is established with climbing nets in the trees, climbing trunks and tree stumps.

The Meadow
In the western part of the courtyard, the open character is reinforced with a lush vegetation of tall and short grasses. The meadow is the calmest and sunniest part of the courtyard. By adding the sound of trickling water and rustling grasses, the feeling of a green oasis is emphasised. In the meadow, smaller seating areas are established for simple furniture and the like, and a communal seating plinth is established along the south-facing rammed earth wall.

The Greenhouse and Forest Garden
The social centrepiece of the courtyard is the conservatory of roughly 50 m². It is placed in the sunny, south-west-facing corner of the meadow, adjacent to the forest garden. The conservatory is made from the property’s old windows and bricks from the courtyard’s previous retaining walls. The conservatory can be used for both cultivation and relaxation. In connection with the conservatory, a forest garden with nut and fruit trees was created. A fenced dog enclosure has also been incorporated.

Rammed Earth Wall and Water Staircase
Tomsgårdsvej is located on a moraine ridge formed during the last ice age. This inspired the winding retaining wall made of rammed earth which extends along the entire length of the courtyard. An alternative to the rammed earth wall would have been a cast concrete or brick wall, which would be more ressource intensive than a rammed earth wall. Along the wall at the western end of the courtyard, water circulates on a water staircase with a rippling stream for children and adults to play with, while blocking outside noise


Rainwater architecture

The recreational value of rainwater, biodiversity and the new sound of the courtyard

The courtyard’s diversity of grasses, plants and trees is the source of rich wildlife, which, together with the rippling water staircase, creates the mood of the garden. An atmosphere that creates new nature and sound experiences for residents in a noise-plagued area of Copenhagen.

Learn more about the recreational value of rainwater, biodiversity and the new sound of the courtyard garden

The Green Oasis

The low-lying water collection area ‘The Meadow’, together with the courtyard’s earthen wall, water staircase and seating plinth, creates a cosy place to sit, sheltered from the wind and shielded from the traffic noise of Tomsgårdsvej.

Room to play

The low-lying water collection area ‘The Grove’ is at the heart of the courtyard’s activity area with a climbing structure, climbing net, access to the school’s play areas and a cave-like adventure path leading to The Meadow.

Trees and plants in the courtyard

Forty-nine old trees have been preserved and 122 new trees, 73 new shrubs and a wealth of flowering herbs, grasses and bulbs have been added to the courtyard garden. There are 92 new species, many of which are native to Denmark and therefore good host plants for wildlife in the city.

The new gathering hub of the courtyard

The courtyard conservatory is the residents’ new communal space, but can also be booked for a private birthday celebration when the apartment is too small. The forest garden gives residents new opportunities to grow fruit, vegetables, herbs, etc.