A New Outdoor Hangout

Vesterbro Youth Club

Client: Vesterbro Ungdomsgård
Role: Designing and facilitating workshops with young people and the staff, Data treatment & analysis, Concept and design development, Co-building new elements
Location: Vesterbro, Copenhagen, Denmark
Year: 2014
Status: Completed

Vesterbro Ungdomsgård is a youth club, located in Vesterbro, Copenhagen. When the youth club was first established in 1958, Vesterbro was known to be a working class area, with bodegas on every corner. In this context, Vesterbro Ungdomsgård acted as a space for young people to escape their daily lives. The institution quickly became recognised as one of the most progressive of its kind. Their existing values served as a strong foundation for arki_lab's design process to redesign Vesterbro Ungdomsgård’s front yard and inspired us to leverage the voice of youth.

We started our collaboration in 2014, when we conducted a series of architecture workshops with the staff to identify their needs and wishes for the front yard, while teaching them how to design and visualise their ideas. Based on these workshops, we developed a series of scenarios for the front yard which were tested by prototyping with boxes. Following the prototyping phase, we conducted a second round of workshops, during which the young people visualised their dreams, based on the outcome of the prototypes. Finally we analysed all the collected knowledge, data and ideas to develop a design concept.

The design options were presented to the young people and the staff for them to give feedback and vote on. Furthermore, we posted it on various social media platforms for everyone to vote and comment on. The comments and votes were included in the following design iteration, resulting in a final design concept. The final design, built together with the young people from the youth club, directly reflects some of the ideas such as a fireplace, an outdoor kitchen and seating areas, all built out of recycled wood.


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