Nächstes Projekt 18/20  

November / Dezember 2023

Universität Stuttgart

Prøvestenen after the petroleum age

a post-fossil vision for the oil island of Copenhagen

von Lucas Apfelbacher


Universität Stuttgart






Städtebau-Institut / Prof. Dr. Martina Baum / Prof. Dr. Leonie Fischer




Vectorworks, Photoshop, Indesign, Rhino

What happens with oil infrastructure landscapes in post-fossil times?
How to deal with Prøvestenen, the oil island of Copenhagen, after the global petroleum age. Throughout the entire design process the aim was to open positive narratives and images in an ecological sense in time of climate crisis. Artificially created and contaminated oil infrastructure landscapes are places for repairing. It‘s about a study of the past to find solutions in the present which contribute to a positive future scenario.
Different habitats, boundaries, breakthroughs, niches, disturbances, management practices, interventions, and maintenance methods ensure ecological diversification of the landscape spaces. The design, starting from the analysis of contamination types and levels, includes the formulation of five landscape types.

The relic landscape, located at the former sea fortress, tells the history of the island via paths through former oil tanks and the fortress.
The memory landscape consists of rocky, partly sealed habitats on the areas shaped by petrochemical infrastructure. Memories are abstract and may dissolve over time. In that sense the former oil tanks are being dismantled, showing only the supporting structure. It‘s a three-dimensional abstract footprint which will get overgrown over time.
The mosaic landscape encompasses the area with the highest contamination level. It serves as an experimental field for scientists in the field of bio- and phytoremediation.
The dune landscape is inspired by the steep meadows along the coast of Jutland.
The publicly accessible open landscape is preserved through extensive pasture management.
Existing ruderal vegetation should be protected and along the expansion boundaries, hedgerows, especially with willow bushes, are to be plant.
The Multiværk is the architectural element that extends from the sea over the island Prøvestenen to the land. The architectural language was inspired by the industrial history of the site and typical harbour facilities. Conceptually and structurally designed, the idea of a steel framework emerged, allowing for multiple coding according to specific needs. Uses articulate differently in the facade and floor plans. The construction, consisting of a continuous steel framework and recessed precast concrete panels, provides space for apartments, pyrolysis plants, research offices, museums, and silo infrastructure. The main access is located on the roof promenade, from which access towers on the side are leading to the arcades below. The apartments, offices, and pyrolysis plants are accessed via these arcades. The centerpiece are the pyrolysis plants, which clean the contaminated soil and return it to the original location via conveyors. Since pure phytoremediation would be too time-consuming to anticipate sea level rise, and toxic substances were found that are not naturally biodegradable, the technical solution of pyrolysis had to be adopted.
Text von Lucas Apfelbacher.