Iconic Victoria greenhouse reincarnated as a hydroponic greenhouse

Dissing Weitling KU Viktoriadrivhus dw
November 6, 2019

Renovation experts at Dissing+Weitling are taking tender care of the listed 1874 Victoria greenhouse in the Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen.

  • The 12-sided greenhouse will be taken down and rebuilt as an aquarium greenhouse in a new location, so that it again has a place in the gardens for Copenhageners and tourists to enjoy.

    Dissing+Weitling’s framework agreement on technical advice for the University of Copenhagen comprises renovation and rebuilding of the university's oldest building stock. One of the more exciting tasks is to take down, renovate and rebuild the listed Victoria greenhouse, which was originally an aquarium greenhouse when the botanical gardens were first established in Copenhagen by the brewer, J.C. Jacobsen.

    Our renovation experts will make sure that the greenhouse is handled and renovated very carefully, so that it can be reincarnated as a hydroponic greenhouse with modern facilities.

  • Dissing+Weitling, University of Copenhagen, Victoria Greenhouse
  • The renovation is extremely complex, and preserving this architectural pearl calls for specialist knowledge. In the original Victoria greenhouse, guests could experience tropical Victoria waterlilies, hence the name, in a fertile environment of water and plants. And this will again be possible when the building is finished in 2020.

    Transfer and renovation of the iconic greenhouse will be in parallel with construction of the new Natural History Museum of Denmark. The greenhouse was almost untouched, with only a few repairs, but it was in very poor condition. A thorough 3D registration of all the building elements was called for, as well as a careful review of all damage in order to preserve and restore as much as possible of the original building.

    Planning the hydroponic greenhouse

    While specialists are registering and renovating in their workshops, in the current phase, Dissing+Weitling is planning the hydroponic greenhouse.

    “We’re working with the Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces to rebuild the building as faithfully to the original as possible, and to ensure that all the preservation orders are observed. We’re currently planning the greenhouse with, among other things, a terraced bottom and plant aquaria along the facade. It’ll be a very authentic experience for guests,” promises Kresten Kirkegaard, partner, architect and renovation expert at Dissing+Weitling.

    The 75-square-metre Victoria greenhouse has been listed since 2015, and from 2012 to 2016 it was protected using a scaffolding cover to avoid further degradation. Together with the Centre for the Restoration of the Built Heritage and the University of Copenhagen, Dissing+Weitling has started the process to return the greenhouse to its former glory.