Open call: Palads Teatret

Copenhagen Contemporary (CC) and the foundation Klara Karolines Fond Stiftet af Aase & Poul Gernes (Gernes-Fonden) launch an ideas competition open to artists and architects to develop the area and space around the cinema, Palads Teatret, in Copenhagen. The only two project requirements being 1) respecting Palads Teatret’s mural by Poul Gernes; and 2) incorporating tomorrow’s modern cinema facilities. As such, the projects may include extending Palads horizontally, upwards, or below ground as long as Gernes’s mural is retained, or Palads itself can be left as it is. Entrants are free to decide the extent to which they wish to involve the urban space around Palads and whether to manifest this as a unified plan for the area as a whole. It is crucial, however, that the proposed project will revitalise the area around 9 Axel Torv, making it a vibrant, attractive, and inspiring meeting place for people in the heart of Copenhagen.

The purpose of this competition is to generate ideas in a context characterised by a mix of interests and to examine new ways to develop communal urban spaces. The competition is entirely limited to ideas and the projects will not, initially, be realised. The ideas bank will be presented to the City of Copenhagen and the cinema group Nordisk Film Biografer.

The interest in the future of Palads Teatret and Poul Gernes’s work of art, including the whole of the building’s facade, has been kindled by the fact that the owner of the building, Nordisk Film Biografer, in 2017 and again in 2020, presented the Copenhagen City Council with a plan to demolish and rebuild the iconic building. These plans started a considerable media debate and triggered discussions on urban development in Copenhagen and preserving a distinguished work of art in the public space.


Who can apply?

The ideas competition is an open call, hence no specific invitation to take part will be issued. We expect entrants to be visual artists, architects, landscape architects, student architects, or otherwise professionally engaged in art and architecture in the public space. We encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, but this is not a requirement.


Exhibition and award at CC

The entries received will be presented to the public on 11 September 2021 at the exhibition Copenhagen, Love & Candyfloss at CC. A committee of impartial professionals and stakeholders will judge all entries received. The winning project will be awarded a prize of DKK 50,000 DKK donated by Mads Nørgaard. In addition to this, CC will present an audience award to the project receiving most votes by visitors.


Formal requirements

To take part, entries should be submitted anonymously either as a drawing, sketch, model, or another preferred visualisation format. The material should be submitted in person in one copy at CC, Refshalevej 173A, 1432 Copenhagen K. A staff member at CC will issue a receipt and provide any assistance required. The entrant is responsible of marking all submitted materials with a random five-digit identification number. A sealed envelope, marked by the same five-digit identification number, containing the name of the entrant, should accompany the entry.


Open Call Information

Materials can be handed in at CC on Monday 21. June 2021 between 9.00 and 16.00.

Jury: Nicolai Bo Andersen (professor MSO, the Royal Danish Academy), Kirsten Astrup & Maria Bordorff (visual artist duo), Ulrikke Neergaard (director, KØS Museum for kunst i det offentlige rum), Christian Pagh (director, Olso Architecture Triennale), Marie Nipper (director, Copenhagen Contemporary), Bibi Henriksen Saugman (project manager, Gernes-Fonden), and a representative for CC’s Art Democrats.

Jury adviser: Camilla van Deurs (City Architect, City of Copenhagen)

Competition interval: 27 April – 21 June 2021

Exhibition period: 11 September – 10 October 2021

Partner: the Danish Association of Architects

Sponsor: Flügger


Copenhagen, Love & Candyfloss is initiated by Bibi Henriksen Saugman, Gernes-Fonden, and curated jointly with
Copenhagen Contemporary. The prize money for OPEN CALL comes from the profit from t-shirt sales #paspaapalads and is donated by Mads Nørgaard. The #paspaapalads tee was launched on 28 March 2021 as a collaboration between Mads Nørgaard and Gernes- Fonden and is available, for example, from the shop Nørgaard på Strøget in Copenhagen and from CC during the exhibition period.


Learn more about the exhibition Copenhagen, Love & Candyfloss here.

Download information about the competition here.

Competition terms

Sealed envelope containing name of entrant

An opaque sealed envelope containing a name label in A4 format giving the entrant’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and entry identification number (see below). For entries submitted jointly by several entrants, please designate the title of copyright holder to the appropriate person.

Label the envelope ’Name slip – Palads’ and a self-selected identification number. The number is chosen arbitrarily by the entrant, and numbers like 12345 or 55555 should be avoided as they increase the likelihood that two participants will choose the same number.


The competition entry

The entry must be anonymous and a competition entry, or parts thereof, must not have been made known to the public previously.

Each constituent part of the entry must be clearly marked with a five-digit, randomly selected identification number (cf. the sealed envelope containing name(s) of entrant(s)).

By submitting an entry, you automatically give your permission to pictures and texts from the said entry being freely shared on social media and reproduced in print and as online content.



Entries should be submitted on 21 June 2021 to:

Copenhagen Contemporary, Refshalevej 173A, DK-1432 Copenhagen K

Hand in the entries at the address above Monday 21 June from 9.00 –16.00. A receipt will be issued on site.


Review procedure

The entries will be judged on their artistic quality, including their originality and ability to reflect the site’s urban identity in terms of entertainment. Parameters such as patination, maintenance, sustainable transformation, and the degree of respect shown for Gernes’s decorative design also form part of the jury’s review criteria. Furthermore, the general impression and synergy between the three principal components – the cinema, Gernes’s mural, and the urban space – will be weighted.


Prize awards

The jury has DKK 50,000 at its disposal, which will be awarded to the best project. A first, second, and third place will be selected. There will be no prize money for the second and third place.

The three chosen projects will be shown and presented at the Association of Danish Architects in November 2021.

CC’s Audience Award is an honorary award with no prize money attached.


Announcing the result

The jury’s review is expected to be completed in August 2021 and the announcement of the winning entries are planned for the exhibition opening on 11 September 2021 in Copenhagen. All entrants will be notified separately. The result will also be announced via a press release, on CC’s website and on the Association of Danish Architects’ website Entrants who have been awarded a prize will be notified in person.

All entries will be shown at CC until 10 October 2021. Following this, the three chosen entries selected by the jury will be shown at the Association of Danish Architects.


Competition material

Københavnerkort (Map of Copenhagen)

The Municipality of Copenhagen’s archive of construction projects

Palads 1

Palads 2


For questions concerning the competition, please contact CC in writing at

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