Biography of an Industrial Landscape tells the story of one of the most significant urban redevelopment projects in northern Europe at the turn of the century. Examining the reinvention of the Carlsberg brewery site in Copenhagen as a city district, Svava Riesto unpacks the deeper assumptions about value that lie behind contemporary design, spatial planning and heritage practices. In particular, Riesto examines ways of valuing a vital yet seldom explicitly discussed feature of industrial landscapes: open space. Carlsberg's industrial open spaces were largely disregarded during the redevelopment, which was founded on canonical heritage thinking and ideas about urban space that were poorly equipped to include the characteristics of these spaces in the design's considerations. As a response, this account reappraises industrial open spaces. Drawing on Henri Lefebvre and biographical approaches to landscape research, the Carlsberg site's open spaces are presented anew as an interplay of materials, practices and the imagination - shaped and reshaped by water, yeast, industrial working routines and conflicting ideas about the future city.
Svava Riesto is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture Theory and Historiography at the University of Copenhagen.