Thomas B. Thriges Gade
A green and versatile district heals Odense
A versatile new urban district focused on coherence and sustainability and on creating diverse urban life has been established in Odense. 300 engineers, landscape architects and urban planners from Sweco have helped recreate historic cross-links and establish green urban spaces that can accommodate the life of the city.
- 2012 – 2021
- Odense Municipality | Realdania
- Engineering- and landscape architecture consultancy
- 51.000 m²
- UN Sustainability Goal 11
Focus on contexts, sustainability and diverse urban life
For 50 years, the four-lane street Thomas B. Thriges Gade cut Odense’s oldest district in two. 25,000 cars a day created an effective barrier to the development of urban life in the heart of Odense.
In collaboration with the Municipality of Odense and Realdania as the developer, 300 of our experts in engineering services, landscape architecture and urban planning have participated in transforming Thomas B. Thriges Gade into a green and cohesive, car-free district with new squares and urban spaces.
The area comprises four new neighbourhoods and eight new urban spaces. The unifying identity of the district is a green and lush landscape – on buildings, roofs, balconies and in the urban spaces of the city. Added to this is the light rail system, which winds through the district connecting the new residential areas.
Once upon a time there was a four-lane thoroughfare… After an almost fairytale-like transformation, Thomas B. Thriges Gade is today a vibrant and beautiful district that the Municipality of Odense and the city’s citizens are proud of – and pleased with.
Iconic underground car park ensures easy accessibility
As part of the project, the old road and tunnel structures in the area have been given new value-adding functions. The Thomas B. Thriges Gade tunnel, which previously led two of the four lanes under Øster Stationvej, today leads down to a car park with more than 1,000 parking spaces. The parking facilities ensure accessibility for citizens and visitors, while keeping the overground urban spaces free of through traffic.
The underground car park has been constructed with a beautiful skylight and a distinctive yellow design. More than 20 staircase towers make it easy to reach the city centre, after parking the car, with direct access to the Odeon music, theatre and conference centre and the new Hans Christian Andersen House.
Focus on pedestrians, cyclists and public transport
The many new urban spaces provide room for play and activity, but also tranquility and presence. The design supports walking and cycling via the new bicycle superhighway from north to south, while buses and the new light rail system are prioritised over cars.
Urban landscape oases
The urban landscape surprises with oases of green urban spaces – not least the Rose Garden in the Hans Christian Andersen Quarter, which, with its wide range of plants and flowers, is a fairytale spot at the heart of the city. In the southern urban spaces, the natural surroundings of the Odense Å river have been extended to the city centre with plants in Albani Torv square.
Architecture and materials reestablish connections
One of the main objectives of the project has been to reconnect the old districts through architecture, street passages, materials and clinker brick colours. Odense has its own special clinker brick type, which has been used in different variations throughout the area. Our landscape architects have worked with red and dark shades and different road surface patterns to signal whether pedestrians or cyclists have a right of priority in an area.
Green roofs and LAR solutions in the terrain are used for rainwater management. For example, in connection with extreme weather events, the sunken cycle paths will lead rainwater to the Rose Garden, where the water is gathered in a fascine with overflow.
Thomas B. Thriges Gade awarded Æreskalejdoskopet 2020
In 2020, the Danish Association of Architects awarded the Municipality of Odense the ‘Æreskalejdoskopet’ – a developer prize for an outstanding urban development project.
“Thomas B. Thriges Gade is an incredibly visionary project and a magnificent example of how important it is for urban development and the quality of buildings and urban spaces that there are visionary developers who dare stick to their visions and plans from the first ideas and until completion of the building work. They have done so in Odense, where the plans have survived changing city councils and the challenges that a large urban transformation project like this will necessarily face along the way.”
Kristine Leth Juul, Deputy Chair of the Danish Association of Architects
The Æreskalejdoskopet prize is awarded to public authorities and institutions or private companies and individuals that have worked inspirationally with architectural quality to the benefit of society.