valby phototour 4 of 4

December 4, 2007

Now for the final segment of the Valby phototour. The area covered in this section involved a lot of biking around and across major infrastructure, and I’ve included some photos of bike tunnels and rail facilities at the end of this entry. Again, I saw a real variety of building types: three housing developments (one clearly low-income, one newer brick apartment blocks, and one neighborhood of duplexes/attached homes). I also saw a brewery campus and an enclave of workshop buildings. Now that I’ve come to the end of my survey based on the SAVE assessment, it’s been interesting to see what were designated within the atlases as significant areas. In general, they have been housing developments that were clearly planned and built at one time and have a common aesthetic characteristic. Although I used the map from the SAVE atlas as a loose guide and tool for finding the designated areas, I was almost always sure of when I had reached one because it had a very clear, distinct character. And it makes sense that this is what gives an area its identity – neighborhoods that are easy to describe and classify, and that, in their design, create a coherent streetscape and environment. I also found myself recording some other aspects of Valby that I thought very characteristic (particularly for someone navigating the area on bicycle, and particularly as compared to other neighborhoods in Copenhagen that I’ve visited). These included mostly edges and barriers, transportation networks, and new construction. Valby seems to be an area of ‘multiple personalities,’ of very distinct blocks of built character divided by significant edges/barriers like train lines, topographical changes, and highways. Although it is not likely (and I’m not even sure if it’s possible) that a survey like SAVE would designate these kinds of characteristics, they definitely form the character of Valby in my mind with a weight equal to that of the area’s built character.

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I’ve noticed also that I never really got down to that park…and actually, that the SAVE atlas doesn’t include any open spaces or parks in its designations for Valby.

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61. Folehavn, a large development of newer-looking apartment blocks. This edge of the development was located right on a major east-west arterial.

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62. Another view of Folehavn. One unique aspect of this housing development is the way in which the buildings are connected to one another; the brick is continuous at the corners of the buildings (see above photo), making for more clearly defined adjacent outdoor spaces.

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63. “Kløverbladet og Venners Hjem,” a housing development of attached/duplex homes, much like those seen in the Selveje neighborhood in northern Valby (except these are two stories, not one).

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64. A unified streetscape. /65. Some of the duplexes are painted in halves, according to their individual owners’ tastes.

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66. “Husvildebarakker ved Elebjergvej” was actually a tough neighborhood to find. The houses are tiny, and it’s located right next to the railroad tracks. I was actually almost on top of it and didn’t see it – had to re-check my map several times before I realized it was right next to me.

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67. The little red houses are all of similar character. This seems to be a lower-income housing development, or possibly workmen’s housing. There was some pretty street (and sewer/water?) maintenance happening when I was there.

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68. I thought that this was a really interesting little enclave of buildings. They are called “Håndværkerbyen,” which translates (very) loosely to “Craftworker Town.” I’m a little embarassed to say that I didn’t check for sure to see if these were live-work units or just workshops, but it seems that they have the potential to be either.

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69. The units are all attached and covered by a sawtooth roof. /70. Unit entries are positioned between the buildings, but still under the roof eaves.

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71.  Carl Jacobsenvej, a loose assortment of brick buildings that form a kind of brewery campus.  The building picture above seems to be the newest addition to the group.
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72./73.  Some of the older brewery (?) buildings.

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74.  The S-tog (commuter train) station in south Valby.

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75.  A bike/pedestrian underpass allowing one to travel around the station pictured above.

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76.  The major east-west rail line in south Valby.  That’s the S-tog station in the distance.

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77.  A very artful bicycle underpass.  This wasn’t really in the area that I was looking at on this particular day, but I passed through it on my way back through Valby to get to central Copenhagen.  It was actually one in a series of three bike tunnels in the same area – a little network of graffiti-ed passages.  Very fun.

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