Click on the red dots to learn more about and see the inside of KU.BE. (Image courtesy of Adam Mørk)
– An architecturally collaborative project called KU.BE, opened on Friday, 2 Sept. to provide the public with a place for exercise, lectures, concerts, food and other community events.
By Rocío Salazar and Hunter Frint
The smell of the fresh paint is still strong, and the ongoing construction is apparent from unfinished hallways with uncovered wiring and plumbing. This has not stopped the steady flow of community members, many of whom are children, from coming by to check out the newest cultural and movement center.
The name, KU.BE was chosen as a combination of the two Danish words for culture and movement, kultur and bevægelse.
The first steps
Martin Krogh, co-founder and architect of Adept, a Danish firm involved in the design of the building said, “It was our intention that the building should actually invite you to go inside and then maybe you find an activity. I’m sure this building will bring people together, or that’s my hope at least.”
In 2009, seven different architectural firms submitted proposals and two, Adept and MVRDV both out of Denmark, were chosen to work collaboratively on KU.BE. Both firms are known internationally for creating buildings or urban spaces that are unique.
Creating a community
The building is an example of architecture mixing social science and physics to construct a place where citizens can coincide and do more than just coexist, but socialize and grow as a community, together.
“It’s a quite ambitious idea that the municipality really had to fight for, for a long time and we also had two of the major foundations in Denmark supporting this to make it happen,” Krogh said.
Realdania and Lokale og Anlægsfonden were the two organizations, outside of the municipality, that gave financial support to this project. According to their websites, Realdania is a philanthropic group dedicated to improving life through the built environment and Lokale og Anlægsfonden supports places with new opportunity for activity. These two organizations combined support the vision the architects said they had for KU.BE.
The opening week
At its opening event in 2 Sept., KU.BE invited everyone to a festival held in their facilities in which they had several different activities, from a treasure hunt, to concerts and workshops. One week after opening they had their first event called, “Travel talk: Argentina”, a lecture by Rune V. Harristshøj. KU.BE posts about their events on their website.
According to the Adept website, eight different zones in one construction compose KU.BE: different kinds of activities that one can participate in, in one building. These zones include an Administrationzone, a Healthzone, a Foodzone, a Thinkzone, a Zenzone, a Performancezone, a Dancezone and a Playzone.
The most frequent visitors
When entering the Playzone, which seems to be the most used area so far, several dozen children run around utilizing the rock walls, slides and large stuffed cubes. A school is located nearby, which accounts for the large number of kids without parental supervision, said a desk clerk at KU.BE.
“This place is nice because you get some more physical activity instead of just going home and watching the iPad or TV,” said Luise Anderson, who brought her daughters for the second time this week.
Anderson said she believes that a place like this is good for bringing the community together.
“Already this Sunday we met a lot of people from school and kindergarten and it’s more easier than to make a play date. You can just meet here instead of having to organize going to other’s houses,” Anderson said.
-This story is written for an audience in Mexico (http://www.elnorte.com/) or the U.S. in the international news section of the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/)