Architectural and spatial design
On an urban scale
UBLA specialises in designing buildings, structures and spaces for urban environments. Architectural design in cities need to consider a multitude of parameters on a major scale — functional as well as aesthetic — and this is our turf.
We work as architects or pre-architects.
As architects we make detailed designs of spaces and structures based on an unusually comprehensive understanding of how these are received by the end-users.
As pre-architects, our small specialist team can move in before you invest heavily in running competitions or having more detailed plans developed. We will analyse a site and supply you with a catalogue of ideas based on our holistic understanding of how city dwellers respond to urban spaces.
Our architecture is grounded in our unique experience with also communicating directly with the citizens of Copenhagen for more than 10 years. Our practice exists in the wider context of urban structures and the uses of them.
The built environment literally frames our lives and define the spaces we move around in — as well as how we move between them. What do we see? What can we do? How can we do it? The responsibility of designing these spaces must not be taken lightly.
We use pencils and CAD too when we design structures and spaces, but we do this coupled with an understanding of the real world, of how real people react to the frames that surround them.
The art is to merge utilitarian needs and financial constraints with creating stunning, pleasing and functional spaces that are truly embraced by their users and help form the identity of the wider context — of the city.
This is UBLA’s speciality.
How we work
UBLA is a small and agile team with a large network. Despite our modest size we can handle all sizes projects — engaging sub contractor specialists as required by the nature of each project at hand.
UBLA’s core team is the creative lead of any project — ensuring consistent quality regardless of which of our partners we choose to work with on a given project.
Are you at a stage where you are not quite ready to commission work or cover the costs of a full-scale architectural competition? Or maybe you simply need a set of ideas to act as a starting point for what to do with a specific urban space.
UBLA spans this gap between desire-to-do and making a decision on what-to-do.
We will visit you and spend considerable time exploring the space in question to uncover the particularities of the site. We will then return to our offices to crunch our data and develop a catalogue of ideas suggesting how your particular space could best be used and designed — naturally working within the scope set out by you.
As with all our work, the unique skill we apply as pre-architects is a thorough understanding of how people actually receive and use structures and spaces. We are not architects in isolation but have more than a decade of experience communicating directly with end-users of the built environment.
Normally, we will visit your site over a few days and talk to key people who can help uncover its characteristics and your ambitions for it.
After returning to our offices, the time required to produce visual proposals depends on the complexity of the assignment. For a relatively small site, we can have your catalogue ready in just a few weeks.
The final ideas are typically presented on a password protected project website created for this sole purpose. This way you will have a highly accessible reference that can form the basis of future work on the space in question.
Our catalogue of ideas primarily operates on a programmatic level — supplying you with sketches and diagrams of the general ideas. We can then later refine the proposals chosen by you.
Looking at the bigger picture
A strategic look at your city will help you prioritise the many tasks that are always at hand — and possibly help you identify new ones where more could be gained for less.
What does your city need to increase the overall satisfaction with being a citizen in it? Are you maybe investing too much in areas that will yield limited returns? Could new areas be identified that would significantly raise contentment and happiness? More greenery? Pavement parks? Bicycle lanes? Other infrastructure? A redesign of key public gathering spaces? New public facilities? Or even just murals or new regulations for outdoor serving?
A strategic look at your city will provide a valuable addition to your city’s road map for future developments.
The scope of a strategic design assignment depends to a large extent on factors such as the size of the city or area, and the required level of detail. These two packages are primarily for your general reference:
White Paper · Comprehensive
Includes a two week visit in your city where we combine observations with talking to city staff, organisations and people on the street to develop an understanding of presented and underlying needs. We then return to our offices to do further research and develop a white paper with substantiated suggestions. The white paper is presented to you, usually within three months of project kick-off.
The white paper will focus on principles of liveability introduced by Copenhagen and other cities who are pioneering initiatives that improve the city as an organism and help increase overall happiness in the city. Our suggestions will apply such principles to your particular city, based on our research.
White Paper · Basic
Includes one four-day visit in your city where we develop an understanding of it through observations and talks with your staff. Upon returning to our offices, we produce a basic white paper outlining our recommendations. The white paper is presented to you, usually within six weeks of project kick-off.
Just as in our more comprehensive pacakge, our suggestions will revolve around how to advance principles of liveability introduced by Copenhagen and other cities who are ahead in the game of creating pleasing urban environments that help drive the whole city forward.
Whether you are organising a conference or wish to inspire your own staff, we are happy to deliver an inspirational keynote outlining how the post-industrial city of the 21st century can be redesigned to increase the quality of life and, in turn, increase the competitiveness of the city.
Keynotes can be presented on a fly-in, fly-out basis — or can be combined with other services.