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The Opera Park: A Breathtaking Green Oasis in Copenhagen’s Inner Harbor

The Opera Park, Copenaghen, DK / COBE

Francisco Tirado

Danish studio COBE has just unveiled The Opera Park, a magnificent green sanctuary nestled in the heart of Copenhagen’s inner harbor. This stunning oasis boasts six enchanting gardens and a captivating greenhouse shaped like a beautiful flower. Spanning over 21,500 square meters, this lush park island has transformed a once-industrial area into a vibrant and verdant landscape.

The Opera Park, Copenaghen, DK / COBE

The park is comprised of six distinct gardens representing different regions across the globe. These include the North American Forest, the Danish Oak Forest, the Nordic Forest, the Oriental Garden, the English Garden, and the Subtropical Garden, which is located within a greenhouse and atrium at the heart of the park. Each garden offers unique surprises, such as a fountain, a water lily pond, and a reflecting pool where droplets of water gently create a calming rhythm upon striking the surface. The park is interconnected by winding paths and beautifully designed flowerbeds, seamlessly blending all its elements together.

The Opera Park, Copenaghen, DK / COBE

The park is a year-round public attraction that aims to welcome visitors with its inviting atmosphere. It boasts an impressive collection of 628 trees, 80,000 herbaceous perennials and bushes, and 40,000 bulb plants from different parts of the world. With 223 unique exotic and local species, the park offers a vibrant and ever-changing backdrop for visitors. The vegetation’s appearance, scent, color, and density vary with the seasons, with spring blooms showcasing a rich color palette, summer bringing various shades of green, autumn highlighting red and yellow tones, and winter dominated by evergreen pine trees and frozen ponds. The diverse range of plant species and sizes creates a rich environment for birds and insects to find food and shelter.

The Opera Park, Copenaghen, DK / COBE

In addition to the beautiful gardens, The Opera Park offers visitors a unique experience with its central greenhouse and café. This stunning glass structure, with its captivating hovering roof, adds an element of surprise and delight as you explore the lush landscape. Unlike many parks in Copenhagen that become desolate during winter, The Opera Park remains vibrant year-round, thanks to the greenhouse and café. Inside, the greenhouse seamlessly connects to the underground parking levels, providing space for up to 300 cars. The subtropic biotope within the greenhouse also extends downwards, creating a harmonious blend between the park and the underground areas.

The Opera Park, Copenaghen, DK / COBE

But that’s not all! The park also boasts a covered walkway that connects to the nearby Royal Danish Opera. This walkway, which sits atop a beautifully landscaped bridge, offers a weather-protected link between the parking facility and the Opera. Drawing inspiration from the greenhouse’s architecture, the walkway features curved glass and a floating roof that mirrors the meandering paths of the landscape design. As one of three bridges to the island, this connection seamlessly integrates nature, landscape, and architecture, creating a truly enchanting experience.

The Opera Park, Copenaghen, DK / COBE

The Royal Danish Opera has found a way to make rainwater work for them by channeling it from their roof into underground water reservoirs. This water is then used to irrigate the park’s greenhouse. The park’s pathways are designed with a permeable gravel surface, allowing excess rainwater to be collected in rain beds for infiltration and evaporation. The green roofs of the landscaped bridge and greenhouse also capture and delay the release of rainwater, while providing a food source for the park’s fauna.

The Opera Park, Copenaghen, DK / COBE

The Opera’s roof is also home to solar panels that provide power to the underground parking facility, the park, and the greenhouse. The park’s materials are robust and fully recyclable, and the abundance of trees and plantings help shield against strong winds. Additionally, the elevated terrain protects the island from flooding during heavy rainfall and significant rises in the harbor water level. The Opera Park is a public recreational space in Copenhagen that is open daily from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM all year round and was generously donated by the A.P. Møller Foundation.

Image courtesy of Tommaso Riva