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The story behind Denmark’s unique garden city of community circles

5 min read

Better Society
Source: Henry Do

Breathtaking aerial imagery of Brøndby Haveby near Copenhagen shows circular garden communities where city dwellers can escape to enjoy fresh air, open skies and tend to their own allotments.

Brøndby Garden City: A Place Where Communities Live In Gardens Circles Together

A series of seriously visually stunning aerial shots of Brøndby Haveby (or Brøndby Garden City) just outside Copenhagen in Denmark, have been circulating online and completely captivated the world. The curiously circular community of communities was built in 1964 to the design of “genius landscape architect Erik Mygind,” Brøndby Haveby mimics “the traditional patterns of the 18th-century Danish villages, where people would use the middle as a focal point for hanging out, mingle and social interchange between neighbors.” says Henry Do, the photographer who brought the world’s attention to the unique settlement. 

Denmark’s Utopian Garden City is built entirely in circles. This unusual form suits the long-established Danish cabin culture in which every city-dwelling Dane who can afford one buys a smaller second home in the countryside as a retreat. Source: Instagram/henry_do

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A post shared by Henry Do (@henry_do)


Brøndby Haveby was built in 1964 to the design of landscape architect Erik Mygind. Brøndby Haveby mimics the traditional patterns of the 18th-century Danish villages, where people would use the middle as a focal point for hanging out, mingling and social interchange between neighbours. Source: Instagram/henry_do

 

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A post shared by Henry Do (@henry_do)

Though the houses in Brøndby Haveby are owned, the gardens are rented, and local zoning laws prevent anyone from occupying their properties for more than six months out of the year.

From above, Brøndby Garden City looks a lot like one of those utopian cities you’d see in a sci-fi film or the visionary drawings of late 19th century urbanists.

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A post shared by Henry Do (@henry_do)

The apartments span nearly 50 square meters and can be visited from April 1 to October 1, or during the weekend.

First created in 1964 by landscape architect Erik Mygind who wanted to use the circular form to stimulate interaction between the gardens, simulating the layout of a typical Danish village with people meeting at the central well.

While the gardens can be rented for around €130 per month, the homes in Brøndby Garden City can only be purchased by those who live in a 20 km radius.

Currently, the gardens of Brøndby include 24 circles, which are each composed of a dozen homes, and 284 garden plots.

The houses in Brøndby Haveby have large yards that provide a retreat from the noisy and densely populated city and also give the opportunity to indulge in the hobby of growing plants and crops.

If you want to learn more about Denmark’s oval gardens (as opposed to circle gardens), check out this article.

The header image was shot by Henry Do. Check out the website of this amazing photographer for more stunning photos.

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