The Black Diamond building in Copenhagen
September 2, 2015

Hi, Sue here.

One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Copenhagen was to see the amazing modern architecture which graces the waterfront. From one of the many vantage points in the city (such as The Rundetarn and the Church of our Saviour) your eye is always drawn to one particular, very striking, building within the cityscape. An extension to the old Royal Danish Library building, this waterfront building is made of glass and gleaming jet black granite. It’s this, along with the crystal-like sharp angles and edges of the building, which has given it the nickname of the Black Diamond.

The first thing you notice as you enter the building is the large wedge-shaped slice of glazing which cuts the black facade in two. This allows light into the central atrium and accenuates the skewed shape of the building. It’s basically a box but it leans to the left and is also angled out over the water, giving it a distorted, prismatic shape which is really striking.

The Black Diamond Building in CopenhagenPhoto taken from Architectural Digest

Once inside you really have to take a trip up the travelators to walk across the wide, central glass walkway which links this modern extension with the original 1906 library building. It’s like moving back in time as you travel from the glass and metal box at one end to the wood clad, traditional interior at the other.

The Black Diamond Building - side view

We were particularly struck by the old-fashioned card index drawers we passed in the Reading Room. It’s also worth exploring the wavy balconies and taking the lift or stairs to the top of the seven storey building to look down the full height of the atrium to the criss-crossing walkways below. Not for those with a fear of heights – it made my husband distinctly dizzy! These two photographs come courtesy of my daughter, Holly.

Interior of Black Diamond Building

Borrow our Brilliant Buildings Touch to See book for more examples of stunning architecture.

Support our work

Donate Online

Donate By Phone +44 (0) 1635 299 771

Donate By Cheque payable to:
Living Paintings
Unit 8 Kingsclere Park | Kingsclere | Newbury | Berks | RG20 4SW

Your guide to our website