While most people do not give much thought to the water that flows when they open the tap, some of us do. Your next project could mean thinking a lot about water too. 

As the urban population grows, so does the demand for water. Many facilities are not built for today’s needs and have to undergo significant work in the coming years. It is not just regular maintenance, but also modernisation and expansion.

Tinghøj Water Reservoir supplies water to most of Copenhagen. Established in the 1930s, the water plant is currently undergoing a complete renovation and significant expansion. 

The water plant is known for its characteristic architecture, which is so special that it is protected by law, making the renovation work a challenging and delicate task. We have to balance the reliable supply of water every day with expanding the facility's capacity and updating it to comply with current safety requirements and regulations, while at the same time preserving the existing architecture. 

Your next project could be … making sure clean water can also be taken for granted in the future 

Many water plants and facilities in Denmark are 50 to 100 years old and in need of fundamental renovation, modernisation and upgrading. If you are up for the challenge, we are looking for building specialists that are not afraid to jump in at the deep end. 

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Help us ensure critical infrastructure as clear as water

“We tend to take water for granted, but it is a very critical part of our infrastructure. A lot of our water facilities have reached an age where they need to undergo fundamental maintenance. These are big and complex projects involving different specialists and disciplines. The challenge is to carry out the necessary renovations with minimum impact by recycling as many materials as possible and reducing the need for new.” 

Read Francesca Destefano’s full story

Facts about Tinghøj Water Reservoir 

  • Client: HOFOR 
  • Established: In four stages from 1931 to 1976
  • Location: A ten-hectare protected area in Gladsaxe, Copenhagen
  • Architect: Ib Lunding 
  • Characteristics: 20 individual concrete towers with stairs leading to the ten underground concrete reservoirs 
  • The renovated water plant will open in 2031 and have an expected minimum lifetime of 75 years  
  • Project partners: HOFOR, Arkitema and ØLLGAARD engineers. 

Working with protected architecture

Tinghøj Water Reservoir was designed by architect Ib Lunding and was constructed the construction took place in stages from 1931 to 1959 (an extra reservoir was added in 1974-76, but in a very different style). The reservoir features 10 underground concrete water tanks with a total capacity of 225,000 m³. 

Ventilation and access to the tanks for inspection purposes is through 20 towers in concrete and copper, whose windows depict a different star constellation. Quite unique and extraordinary for an otherwise very practical installation. And one of the reasons why the water reservoir as a whole is protected by law and must be renovated without changing the architectural appearance. 

How do you build a bigger tank inside the existing tank? 

The old underground concrete water tanks in the Tinghøj Water Reservoir are no longer safe and need to be replaced, and the capacity of the reservoir needs to be increased to meet the demands of a growing population. The engineering challenge is to do just that without interfering with the protected architecture. The solution is to build a new tank inside the old tank. In order to increase the capacity, the entire area is raised by three to four metres, but the original exterior appearance will appear unchanged when the project is finished.

Sounds crazy? A little. Sounds complicated? Oh, yes. As main consultant COWI heads this enormous project. We use our broad technical insight to help HOFOR get the many different competencies and specialists from different companies to work closely together. Clean water is vital, and we simply have to succeed with Tinghøj and our other water facility projects.