After working abroad for six years, young engineer Christen Ostenfeld returned to his hometown of Copenhagen in 1930. Full of creative energy, the 29-year old established his business in a small apartment in Copenhagen's infamous Vesterbro neighbourhood and went straight to work.
Just a stone's throw from the office, Ostenfeld's first major assignment was a comprehensive renovation of the run-down Scala theatre.
Above: This is a photo of the original National-Scala, Scandinavia's largest entertainment venue at the time.
With a short deadline, Ostenfeld had to work fast. He introduced prefabricated steel structures which allowed the contractors to keep up the pace, even in the cold Danish winter. One year later, in 1931, the official opening of the National-Scala took place with 2,000 guests, dressed to impress.
Ostenfeld was an immediate success – and he was determined not to rest on his laurels.
K.B. Hallen on Peter Bangs Vej in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen© cowi
The building was rebuilt in 1945 after being blown up during the Second World War. The hall burned down in 2011.© cowi
When K.B. Hallen burned down in 2011, COWI evaluated the damages, crosschecking with the original drawings from the COWI archive.© cowi
Gentofte Badminton Klub, a sports club in the suburbs of northern Copenhagen, moved in to its current badminton hall in 1936. Christen Ostenfeld's young engineering firm designed the project – and Ostenfeld himself stopped by to celebrate the inauguration of the building.
At 85,5 m, Carlsberg-siloen in Copenhagen´s Vesterbro neighbourhood was engineered by Ostenfeld & Jønson in 1956-57.© COWI
Originally designed to store malt, the tower was later transformed to 35 housing units.© Carsten Rasmussen
Above: The suspension bridge at Uittamo in Finland, 1960, was an important technical breakthrough for Ostenfeld & Jønson.
Prestressed concrete turned out to be useful for more than just silos. The dynamic duo, Ostenfeld & Jønson – and their now 50-strong staff – became Scandinavia's undisputed favourite consulting firm in the construction game. With new offices in Paris and Ghana, the company went global and won new contracts all over the world. Ostenfeld & Jønson engineered tunnels, tram depots, cotton mills, concrete tanks for boiling laundry water, wastewater treatment plants and countless swimming baths and bridges.
Green makeover. At Enghaveparken in Copenhagen, COWI was part of the project to create room for 24,000 m3 of stormwater as well as green and lush areas for citizens.© cowi
COWI performed consulting services for the design and the construction supervision of approximately 218 km long section of Tanzam Highway in Tanzania© Tanzania Highway
The Hålogaland Bridge crosses the Rombaks Fjord in the harsh environment of Northern Norway. As project manager, COWI provided basic and detailed design for the bridge as well as construction follow-up.© cowi
Expansion of Gardermoen Airport, Oslo - one of the greenest airport terminals in the world. In a Joint Venture with Nordic, Office of Architecture and Norconsult, COWI designed the project.© Ivan Brodey
Over the next decade, COWI and its French cooperation partner Systra will work on electrifying the Danish rail network.© cowi