Studio Anders Abraham Architects


Justin prepress

Category: Competition 2006
Assistant: Architect Camilla Hornemann
Location: Axeltorv square in Næstved, Denmark

The historic photos of the square include one striking photo from 1900 of the empty cobbled square. The soft surface and the composite row of houses that encircle the square are
connected to the craftsmanship and the materials by which
the place was made – a common origin.
Today, Axeltorv is characterised by a series of contradictions – new and old, large and small, craftsmanship and industrial
fabrication etc. The houses’ façades have been reconstructed
to make them ‘contemporary’, and the square’s concrete tile grid pattern has its very own scale, which in its precision
measures the ‘imprecise’ brickwork of the old houses. This
uniform clash between old and new is a central issue in
the transformation of our towns, and the question is thus
how we can create new whilst at the same time building on
the architectural strength that we find in this historic town.
The idea is to find a level of organisation that catches the
complexity of the original outline of houses that is also able
to encompass the new functions, which the place must contain – creating a new, coherent condition with a story. The story could be ‘about the loose connection’ or ‘about mediating between many’.
The idea is to create a large directionless surface of cobblestone, which mediates between the houses, the square and the
composite space of the town.