Visionary architecture pavilions in Copenhagen

03 May 2023


Living Places Copenhagen Render: EFFEKT


How can architects and the building industry contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? This is a central question at the UIA World Congress of Architects, which will take place 2-6 July this year. It is also the starting point for several architecture pavilions – titled the SDG Pavilions – that will emerge during the spring and summer in Copenhagen, Denmark.


The SDG Pavilions are 1:1 experimental projects for the World Capital of Architecture and the UIA World Congress of Architects in Copenhagen. The explorative constructions will greet visitors on selected locations in Copenhagen, including the city’s iconic harbor area.

Each pavilion is the result of a collaboration between architects, engineers, material producers, science institutions, associations, and foundations, all working towards asking the right questions when it comes to building for the future, relating to one or more of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

A diverse group of young and established Danish architecture studios have designed the SDG Pavilions, including Schmidt Hammer Lassen, EFFEKT, Architects Without Borders Denmark, ReVærk, LOKAL, Leth & Gori, Rønnow Architects, GXN, FORMA, Terroir, AART, Mangor & Nagel, NOAA Architects, Studio Coquille, Tan & Blixenkrone, ATENASTUDIO, and MAST.

From 4 to 1 Planet is an initiative aimed at reducing climate impact from residential buildings to a fourth of the current level. Architects: ReVærk, Tegnestuen LOKAL, Leth & Gori, Rønnow Architects, BOGL. Illustration: LOKAL.

Solutions for the future
Showcasing the latest ideas from Danish architecture studios, the SDG Pavilions are addressing how to live and build with lower Co2 emissions and higher regard for people and the shared environment, including thoughts on communal spaces, materials, health, food and sanitation infrastructures, and climate change.

The project is presented by the Danish Association of Architects and the UIA World Congress of Architects Copenhagen in collaboration with the City of Copenhagen and CPH City & Port Development. The pavilions are created in relation to the World Congress, and present activities to congress guests and visitors throughout the summer to celebrate Copenhagen as the World Capital of Architecture in 2023.

“We experience an enormous drive among architects and the rest of the building industry to contribute with new and more sustainable materials, construction methods, housing concepts, etc., and there is a need for us to provide space for experimentation. Together with the City of Copenhagen and CPH City & Port Development, we have therefore made an open invitation to the industry to present their visions for how we can contribute to sustainable development. And especially this year, we have a unique opportunity to show and discuss solutions for the future with professionals and other interested parties who have their eyes fixed on Denmark during the World Capital of Architecture and not least the UIA World Congress of Architects in July,” says Lars Autrup, CEO at the Danish Association of Architects.

The Raft addresses the challenges that rising sea levels bring to coastal cities and populations, and the loss of underwater biodiversity due to global warming. Designed with special attention to accessibility for people with reduced mobilities to create a space where everyone feels welcome. Render by: Daniella Netrebko.

Accessible to everyone
Just as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals contain a complex mix of goals and sub-goals on social, economic, and environmental sustainability, the SGD Pavilions try to provide answers to a palette of different challenges.

In accordance with the theme of the UIA World Congress “Sustainable Futures – Leave No One Behind”, all SGD Pavilions are designed to be accessible to everyone and are built with emphasis on responsible consumption of materials with plans for recycling, reassembly or reuse after the exhibitions.

Living Places Copenhagen is a concept from the VELUX group on how we can develop sustainable buildings with a three times lower Co2 footprint and a first-class indoor climate. Render: EFFEKT Architects.

Read more about each SDG Pavilion and its location on the links below.

The SDG Pavilions:
All pavilions >

Architects: Architects Without Borders (Denmark)
Partners: National Slum Dwellers Federation of Uganda, ACTogether Uganda, BLOX, Dreyers foundation, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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Architects: FORMA
Partners: Sara Martinsen, Banegaarden, Rearc.Institute
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Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen
Partners: Roskilde Festival, Blox Hub
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Architects: EFFEKT
Partners: VELUX, EFFEKT, ARTELIA, Enemærke & Petersen, DSB
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Architects: Terroir
Partners: The Danish Plastics Federation, Nordiq Group, Primo, SP Group, EPS-branchen, VinylPlus, Plastmontøren
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Architects: AART, Mangor & Nagel – part of AART, NOAA
Partners: OJ Consulting Engineers, Copenhagen Mason’s Guild, NEXT KBH, Tech College Aalborg, Ampell, BEGA, Egernsund Wienerberger, Gamle Mursten, KALK, CRH Concrete, Søndergaard Nedrivning, Vognmand Peter Falck, Bevica Foundation, VIHDA
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Architects: ReVærk, Tegnestuen LOKAL, Leth & Gori, Rønnow Architects, BOGL
Partners: Aaen Engineering, CINARK, Smith Innovation, Realdania, VILLUM fonden
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Architects: GXN
Partners: Teknologisk Institut, Aarsleff, COWI, Aarhus Universitet, Tscherning, Søndergaard, Peikko, Hi-Con, Dansk Standard, Dansk Beton, Brabrand Boligforening, AP Pension
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Architects: Studio Coquille, Tan & Blixenkrone
Partners: Kvadrat, CLT Denmark, Dan-Fender
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Architects: Anna Maria Indrio (Atenastudio), Henning Frederiksen, Christian Fogh, Simone Aaberg Kærn (artist)
Partners: DMI (Danish Meteorological Institute), CLT Danmark, Standard System Engineering, Bevica Fonden, Ofelia Plads Foundation, Maximus Kran and Specialtransport A/S, Slagelse Lift A/S, All Remove A/S, Carl Ras A/S
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Architects: MAST
Partners: Das Boot – Naval Engineers, Khrons Bådebyggeri
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Partners: The City of Copenhagen, Urgent.Agency, Bevica Foundation, Standard Practice


Bio-Center shows how architecture can contribute with solutions to reduce inequality in living standards across the planet. The result is a range of positive services for the slum's residents that can strengthen them in their daily life. Illustration: Architects Without Borders

About UIA World Congress of Architects

The 28th UIA World Congress of Architects will take place in Copenhagen, July 2-6, 2023. With the theme “Sustainable Futures – Leave No One Behind”, the congress will shed light on architecture’s potential to shape better societies and contribute to a sustainable future. The invited keynote speakers include leading global voices from the worlds of architecture, politics, science and business. More than 10.000 professionals are expected to participate from all over the world.

In parallel to the UIA World Congress, the City of Copenhagen has been officially designated as World Capital of Architecture in 2023 by UNESCO and UIA.