An urbanist’s Avedøre

Avedøre (sheet | history | kommuneplan | 1961 article | Historien i gaden | KBH Billeder | Flickr: searchfive walks):

The old village of Avedøre is now locked in by major roads and motorways – to the east by Avedøre Havnevej, to the north by the Holbækmotorvej, and to the west and south by Motorring 3 – but once its location was rather more strategic.

A weird combo of open landscape in the west, detached houses to the east and a planned development south of the S tog. At 16K accounts for 30% of Hvidovre’s population, but only part of the kommune from ?; parts previously belonged to Glostrup and Brøndby.

  • Bronze Age: Frydenhøjsværdet (sword) found in 1929, sold to Nationalmuseet in 1932 for DK 12
  • 1660: reports of a kro on the first Køgevej, which ran through Avedøre at Stavnsbjergvej (extension of Kettevej x)
  • 1892: Avedøre Batteri established, 800m west of Vestvolden; demolished in 1920, with the first houses built on the ground in 1925; traces remain, with the area still surrounded by a ditch
  • 1900s: area of market gardens; now allotment gardens, closed for half the year; former gartnerier: Stormly (Byvej 39), Rosmosegård (Brostykkevej 182) and Gungehus; sole remaining is Klarskovs Gartneri (Byvej 62)
  • 1912: lejren
  • 1917: Avedøre Flyveplads (kommuneplan), at GKL 580, the far side of the Amager motorway at the top of Stamholmen; listed at level 1; pic | for sale (Mar 2018)
  • 1974: acquired from Glostrup for DK nn million – green areas and industrial potential, plus Stationsbyen, but doomed by the oil crisis and other factors (NB Grænsevej, west of Avedøre Havnevej)
  • not well integrated with the rest of the kommune with few road connections
  • contrast between tower blocks and the old village; an edgeland, never far from the roar of the motorway; feels half finished because it is – never reached planned volume/density


Avedørelejren (pic | blog | restaurant: Bataillionen | hostel: Belægningen (refugees housed here on arrival), is a former military camp and barracks established in 1912 and acquired by the council in 1997, which still owns a third of the land; unusual campus-like area in the suburbs.

The oldest buildings are to the south (red brick) by Viggo Møller and a bit Bedre Byggeskik; north of Filmbyen are original army buildings in yellow stone; blended functions plus 350 homes. The camp attracted various other bits and pieces converted into this and that:

Avedøresletten (1913) was the exercise area for the camp, owned by the military until fredet in 1996; has three skydehøje, grazed by sheep to keep growth down; highest point in Avedøre at 10m, now housing the Thomas Dambo wotsit. One of the most central undeveloped areas in Greater Copenhagen, it looks like the lost piece from a completely different jigsaw, but it’s still not Nature.

By way of complete contrast we have Avedøre Stationsby (1972-82; FB & FB2), planned by Glostrup Kommune at the height of the period of whatevs; built as a fæstningsby; within the four storey walls there are houses, schools and a church (inspired by Dubrovnik); 16 mins to CPH.

  • a symbol of modernism’s bomaskiner, life from cradle to grave
  • no productionsvirksomheder in the ‘by‘- it was thought that people would either work at Avedøre Holme qv, a 10 minute drive away, or take the S tog into CPH
  • instead the nature of the population shifted, meaning that Stationsbyen ended up on the Ghetto list; turned round by kvarterløft, sociale indsatser and restricting who moved in
  • Kierkegaard 2013 offered Jagten på det almindelige menneske bringing participants closer to life in the suburbs by challenging ideas and prejudices about everyday life there; combining Kierkegaard’s concept of the spidsborger with city planners’ big ideas of the good life, giving an insight into who lives in the suburbs and how life there plays out in comparison the the planners’ original ideas
  • circumambulation!
  • 70 hectares, c2500 properties made up of three elements:
    • tæt-lave gårdhavebebyggelse inside the wall, with rillede betonfacader
    • Bymuren (1974, 4): 2.5km long, more than 1000 properties
    • a bånd of institutions down the centre
    • Store Hus (1977): 40th anniversary: the book | 1979 April Fool | 1986 (pre-renovation) | more; 464 flats cf 8-tallet; 12 storeys inspired by Le Corbusier | average income 15% higher than in rest of kommune


  • church: Avedøre Kirke (1977)
  • farms: pic |  Skelgården | Damgården (again, with Højgård)
  • Filmbyen: the mural on the ceiling of Den Sorte Diamant’s Kirkebybroen was constructed in a gym hall here
  • gadekær
  • haveforeninger:
  • hotel: Scandic Hvidovre (1963; old pics), originally an Esso motel; celebrated its 50th anniverary in 2013
  • landsby:
    • from around 1000 or even 800 AD; old farms include Kastanienborg and Stavnsbjerggård
    • old buildings survive as was part of Glostrup when Arnold Nielsen was pulling down the gamle lort in Hvidovre; pop: c160, but houses two forvaltningsanstalter (detention centres; Kastanienborg and Lysholm, capacity c48) and two riding schools/hestepension (Damgården and Stevnsbogård (1663?; or part of Produktionsskole; now derelict? may be used to house refugees)
    • landsbylaug based in the sprøjtehus (1850s) by the gadekær; oldermand: Johnni Andersen
    • school (pic | renovated) : established 1781, so children didn’t have to walk to Glostrup; then at Byvej 56 (1929-56/8), then at Dybenskær
  • mosque: Avedøre Tværvej 6
  • Mågeparken – moon landscape/prairie and rare fredskov/forest reserve in the kommune, created with soil from the construction of Amager motorway; great views of Avedøreværket; at the far end are some remains from CPH’s befæstning (voldgrav and krudtmaskiner), also several artificial water holes (vandhuller), home to Sjælland’s only grønbrogede tudser; marks the end of Hvidovre’s Planetsti
  • paths:
    • Frydenhøjstien: connected Frydenhøjgården with Avedøre Landsby
    • from Brøndby Havn along the dike and all the way round; actually half the area is ‘nature’
  • roads:
    • Avedøre Havnevej: completed 1982, a Berlin Wall between Hvidovre and Avedøre with no through traffic from Grenhusene down to Brostykkevej
    • laid?? some land transferred from Brondby
    • Byvej (1760 map): old road, extended in the late 1950s to ?Hvidovre
    • Dybenskærvej: constructed in the 1970s to connect Strandhaven to Paris Boulevard
    • GKL: see sheet; Avedøre Flyveplads and four houses west of Motorring 3
    • Holbaekmotorway laid??
    • Kettevej (see post): one of the oldest roads in the kommune, the route from CPH to Køge in the Middle Ages
    • Krogholtsvej: dates from 17th century
    • Tårnfalkevej: previously Holmevej, the main road over the wetlands to Store Holm; in the 1970s there was a barakby here for gastarbejdere from Yugoslavia
  • schools (see local history mag):
    • Børnehuset Ærtebjerg (1971): built by Glostrup Boligselskab: also fritidshjem
    • Enghojskolen – closed?
    • Frydenhøjskolen (1970): and hallerne, in yellow brick
  • station: opened by the queen in September 1972
  • transport: the 500S bus connects Vestegnen and Ørestad (ish); post
  • Vestvolden: exhibition (again) | old pic | again | again |
  • vinyard: Dansk Vincenter (founded 1999; grape picking, 2013)
  • writers: Aydin Soei: Forsoning (2016), set in Avedøre where he was brought up

Avedøre Holme

If all this wasn’t weird enough, Avedøre is also home to Denmark’s biggest industrial zone (475 hectares), established 1957-66, surrounded by dykes/dæmninger to three sides and on its northern side by the motorway, partly under sea level – and a fifth of the area of the kommune.

The building process provided work for many, including workers from Jylland and Fyn, housed in a skurvognsby (huts). 1964 saw the key turned by Jens Otto Krag on the digger; completed in 1966. But the 1973 oil crisis put a stop to the building boom – only 16K jobs were created on Avedøre Holme instead of the projected 30K; DK as a trad industrial nation was over.

On the plus side, today home to more than 350 companies giving employment to 8K, one of northern Europe’s biggest industrial estates close to an airport and motorways; inc Center Syd. As a business park it is only semi-public (see Edgeland spots), focused on the  classic edgelands industry of dealing with rubbish. The windmills create enough el for 1000 houses.

But there are no houses, and no reason to go there unless for work. Buses reluctantly exit the motorway and cruise around the perimeter as if as an afterthought, although the views from the bridge, to the edgeland the other side of the now shrunken bay, can be worth a stop. Crossed by major cycle route, the edgelands of Amager are another forgotten area.


  • Avedøreværket: probably visible from space, as ubiquitous (pics) but somehow more friendly than Bella Sky
  • CPH Business Park (1981) – Boje Nielsen’s kontorhus, 300m long, for a time DK’s longest office building
  • Renseanlæg – biggest in the land: others at Lynetten and Damhusåen: sewage treatment – the industry of the edgelands
  • TEC Hvidovre – Stamholmen 195-215; ie secondary modern, at the back of beyond