Cobe Architects


The Opera Park (Operaparken), situated on the Copenhagen harbour front, is a public space designed for recreation, relaxation, and contemplation amidst the bustling city centre. This green oasis spans 21,500 square meters and features a rich array of trees, bushes, plants, and flowers. Inspired by the historical gardens of European capitals, it boasts winding paths and meticulously crafted viewpoints. Responsible for the entire project are Cobe Architects (Copenhagen).

The park consists of six thematic gardens, each reflecting different ecosystems and cultures. At its centre lies the 680-square-meter “Greenhouse“, a pavilion with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a sweeping, curved roof. This pavilion offers a surprising and original mix of uses. The space opens downwards into the two underground levels of the parking garage, where visitors can marvel at the open staircase and elaborate subtropical planting. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls offer a view of the cars parked in the garage. Additionally, the ground floor houses a tastefully designed restaurant area.

Operaparken also includes a café, an underground parking garage for up to 300 cars, and a covered pedestrian bridge connecting the park to the neighbouring Royal Danish Opera.


Copenhagen, Denmark


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Architekturfotografie Kopenhagen
Operaparken: Copenhagen’s New Underground Garage

Even in Copenhagen, the “bicycle capital,” underground parking garages are being built. Despite the city’s eco-friendly approach to transportation, cars are still heavily used. One key location is the Opera House, which opened in 2005 on the eastern harbor opposite the historic old town. Although traditional gasoline cars are expected to decrease, local decision-makers believe the traffic situation at the Opera House will not change significantly.

Operaparken: The New Underground Garage

In October, an underground garage with 300 parking spaces, including 50 charging stations for electric cars, opened next to the Opera House. Moreover, the access and surface of the garage were meticulously designed, now called Operaparken. The project, designed by the Copenhagen-based architecture firm Cobe, spans 21,500 square meters and features six thematic gardens with plants representing different ecosystems and cultures.

The Greenhouse Pavilion

At the center of the park is the 680-square-meter “Greenhouse,” a fully glazed pavilion with a sweeping, curved roof. The space opens downwards, revealing an open staircase and elaborate subtropical plants, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls offering views of the cars in the garage. Additionally, on the ground floor, there is a tastefully designed restaurant area.

Convenient Access to the Opera House

Besides the central pavilion, a second entrance from the garage features a floor-to-ceiling glazed corridor that provides a sheltered path from the car to the Opera House. For nearly twenty years, car-driving opera enthusiasts had to park beyond the Opera House and walk several hundred meters unprotected to the venue. Previously, the current park site was a simple grassy field.

Project Funding and Legacy

The project was commissioned by the Operaparkfonden Foundation and funded by the A.P. Moller Foundation, established in 1953 by the founder of the international logistics company Maersk. This powerful foundation also funded the 2005 Opera House by Henning Larsen Architects, which now boasts one of the world’s most elegantly designed underground garages. Therefore, from Copenhagen, a city praised for its innovation, one might expect more than this car-friendly approach to a major cultural institution’s transportation infrastructure.

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