Now Copenhagen is the World Capital of Architecture 2023

The year of architecture 2023 is launched with an official inauguration with the participation of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and opening of exhibitions in the Town Hall Tower and on Kongens Nytorv.

2023 is the year of architecture in Copenhagen.

The capital of Denmark is indeed the world's Capital of Architecture, as Copenhagen can claim the title of UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture. It is marked with plenty of events across the city throughout 2023, which are created by the Municipality of Copenhagen, a number of business partners and not the least the Copenhageners themselves. 

The Mayor of Technology and Environment Line Barfod (EL), who is hosting the official inauguration with the Lord Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (S), is looking forward to getting started: 

“Architecture is much more than just beautiful buildings. It is also part of the solution to the challenges of climate crisis, housing shortage and social distortion, that our city faces. Danish architects and urban planners are already good at this. But I look forward to exchanging knowledge and ideas with the Copenhageners and our international guests about how we together can create an even better capital that is accessible to everyone”, she says. 

The Lord Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen comments: 

“I am proud that Copenhagen has been named Capital of Architecture. It is a completely unique opportunity to show the world what we can do in architecture, urban development and sustainability and it is an important occasion for dialogue about the development of the capital of the future. If Copenhagen is to continue to be among the world´s best cities, we must handle the great challenges of the time together – climate change, rising water levels, the lack of housing, accumulated soil from construction projects and a metro which is becoming true to its own success. With over 300 activities during the Year of Architecture, I look forward to exiting conversations about the city's development with Copenhageners and guests from abroad.” 

The Year of Architecture officially kicks off today at 10 o'clock at Copenhagen City Hall. His Royal Highness the Crown Prince is protector of the Year of Architecture and gives a speech at the official opening.

At 12 o'clock there is a premiere of the exhibition ”Martin Nyrup's drawing studio – The Creation of Copenhagen City Hall” (Martin Nyrup's tegnestue – Skabelsen af Københavns Rådhus) in the City Hall attic, which will be opened to the public later this month, where everyone can get an insight into the architect's workspace.

On Kongens Nytorv, the exhibition ”Reflections in Common” opens, which from today until October will be a reflection space for Architecture Capital 2023. In a mirror cabinet, the audience can see themselves, each other, the city and nature in a new perspective. The circular mirror construction mirrors Kongens Nytorv's historic buildings and inside hides an infinite landscape that changes character as the seasons change.

In the evening, the light work White Beams is switched on from the City Hall Tower and illuminates the ten districts of Copenhagen – the piece of work is made in partnership with Copenhagen Light Festival.

In addition to the major exhibitions, the UNESCO title will be celebrated with a series of events that will put the capital's architecture and urban space in the spotlight. In march, the exciting event Open House is held, where more than 50 normally closed buildings will open their doors to the public. In June, the spectacular

Copenhagen Picnic is held for up to 4.000 people and in late summer a large event is held with the main partner Bevica Fonden, which focuses on inclusion and accessibility in the city.

There are more than 120 partners, which includes seven Copenhagen museums, which in 2023 will all create exhibitions and special events that have a flavour of architecture and the city – from Nikolaj Kunsthal's installation of miniature houses to Thorvaldsen's special exhibition on Bindesbøll's classicist masterpiece (Thorvaldsens særudstilling om Bindesbølls klassisiciske mesterværk). Glyptoteket, Arbejdermuseet and Københavns Museum are also among the supporting forces of the Year of Architecture.

As an inspiration on how to embrace as many people as possible for this year's events, with main partner Bevica Fonden, among other things, there is developed an accessibility guide and there has been workshops held for the organizers.

”It is simply about trying to create equal opportunities for participation – regardless of which functional abilities you have”, says the director of the foundation, Marianne Kofoed.

The Danish Architecture Center is also the main partner in the Year of Architecture and plays a key role in the program, among other things, with the group exhibition ”What we have in common”(Det vi har til fælles), which will run through the summer of 2023. Deputy Director Dorthe Weinkouff Barsøe says from here:

”The Danish Architecture Center will highlight the importance of architecture through a powerful program of exhibitions, guided tours, family workshops, debates, podcasts, events etc.

Experiences where everyone can participate, without special prerequisites. Among other things, we are opening the first permanent exhibition that covers architecture in Denmark from the Viking Age and into the future and then there will be no less than three different architectural races in the city, the first one in connection with the Copenhagen Light Festival.”

This year's major professional and international event is the world congress for architects 'UIA World Congress of Architects 2023 Cph', which will be held in Bella Center in July. 10.000 international participants are expected here. Several of this year's festivals are also included in the Capital of Architecture – this applies to the Light Festival (Lysfestivalen), Copenhagen's annual architecture Festival Copenhagen Architecture Festival CAFx, Chart, Art Week and Golden Days.

There is also excitement in Wonderful Copenhagen, which markets the capital internationally as the Capital of Architecture:

”The title as World Capital of Architecture 2023 comes with the capital's hosting of the World Congress of Architects, which we won to be here in 2017 in collaboration with, among others, the Association of Architects (Arkitektforeningen) and Realdania. Allthough the international congresses of knowledge typically deal with a limited subject field, they generally have great potential for creating a broad societal value and the UIA World Congress of Architecture is a very good example of that. At the same time, the title gives us a huge opportunity to brand and market the capital of Denmark internationally based on architecture and we are in the middle of it”, Mikkel Aarø-Hansen says, managing director of Wonderful Copenhagen.

See the entire program at: arkitekturhovedstad.kk.dk

Additional contact:

To contact Lord Mayor Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, contact press consultant Anette Amalie Juhl Lindschouw on tel. 26 13 65 49 or ig9q@kk.dk

Contact Mayor of Technology and Environment Line Barfod and other questions about Capital of Architecture 2023 through the press phone: 23 27 80 90 presse@tmf.kk.dk


UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture is run in collaboration with more than 120 partners.

The Bevica Foundation, which works for an inclusive society that is designed for everyone – regardless of functional ability, the Danish Architecture Center and Wonderful Copenhagen are the main partners in the Year of Architecture. The Danish Architecture Center is doing, among other things, the group exhibition ”Copenhagen in common – What we have in common”, as well as the big Open House event in March.

A number of architectural companies are planning activities in 2023 amongst others, Henning Larsen/Rambøll, Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects, Rønnow Leth & Gori, Sweco Architects, BIG etc. by having open house, tours, pop-up projects and contemporary projects, such as Velux and Effekts Boligværksted in Jernbanebyen.

World Capital of Architecture covers the capital and has partners throughout the region.

There are more than 300 events and activities in the program for Capital of Architecture 2023.

The exhibition ”Martin Nyrop's design studio – The Creation of Copenhagen City Hall” (Martin Nyrup's tegnestue – Skabelsen af Københavns Rådhus) has been prepared in collaboration between Copenhagen City Hall officers (Københavns Rådhusbetjente), Copenhagen Properties (Københavns Ejendomme), Copenhagen Museum, Copenhagen City Archives (Københavns Stadsarkiv) and scenographer Cicki Lakha.

From Tuesday 17 January it will be possible for the public to book a tour of the exhibition. There will be tours on Fridays until December at both 11 am and 14 pm. Tickets can be booked through the link here.

At the opening event, Technology and Environment Mayor Line Barfod will present a prize to the winner of an architectural competition for students at the Royal Academy (Det Kongelige Akademi) for a reinterpretation of the Town Hall Tower. The Town Hall Tower will undergo a renovation from February to December 2023 and the winning proposal will be illustrated on the scaffolding banner.

To see the entire program, press materials, press photos etc.: Capital of Architecture 2023 / Capital of Architecture 2023 (kk.dk)

Copenhagen is UNESCO-UIA World Capital of Architecture in 2023-2026 / Wonderful Copenhagen

For more information about events provided by the Danish Architecture Center, see their program website: Capital of Architecture 2023 – Danish Architecture Center - DAC