'Ghout' - of shelters and whereabouts

Laura-Sophie Behrends
Kunst og Arkitektur

There is no notion of coexistence in Copenhagen‘s cold and darkness.

In a time of globalization, digitalization and refugee crisis I see the task of social integration and potential of encounters, especially in a country where the climate doesn‘t motivate people to meet outside their own spheres. 

There is a need to design a common ground, accessible and affordable for all ages and backgrounds.


„Each day, we feel more distant from each other, more alone, all while being surrounded by millions. Each day we watch as our city turns into a desert, one in which we are all lost, looking for that oasis. The more we wait, the more everything and everyone looks like a grain of sand escaping between our fingers before vanishing into the wind. How do we find something or someone we can no longer see, but which is right there before us? And how do we hold on to what is most precious in life?“ 

Gabriel Bá, Daytripper


 ‚The Ghout‘  is an algerian terminology for an oasis system protected by a crater of sand from the dessert. It references the 19th century Palm House to provide a contemporary reinterpretation of the old typology.  


Born in the industrial revolution the Glass house was an enunciator of leisure-industry. 

It was open for the public and not only for privileged classes and became a common winter park. It was one of the first typologies to serve for amusement and recreation. The Palm House phrased the natural in the artificial, it became a green oasis in the middle of a stonedesert. An illusion of nature as a small social utopia and a whereabout.  


Inspired by the shadow of the African tree - pictured as the Jacaranda Tree - which marks a gathering point for the community, the structure encloses an oasis, which acts as a refuge from our individual isolation. The Ghout is a ‚hortus conclusus‘ of great intimacy, a surreal place and the paradox of boundaries allowing us to relieve and open up towards each other. 


The Ghout is a methaphoric project, set in the middle of Copenhagen‘s lakes - as place between fiction and reality. An idea to travel and change its face.


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