Urban Rigger, student housing by Bjarke Ingels Group, in Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is UNESCO World Capital of Architecture

Photo: Daniel Rasmussen, Copenhagen Media Center

Get ready for some years of architecture and design when Copenhagen takes the title as World Capital of Architecture.  

What is UNESCO World Capital of Architecture?

The title is based on a partnership established between UNESCO and the UIA (International Union of Architects) in 2018, through which UNESCO designates the host cities of UIA’s World Congress as World Capitals of Architecture. Rio De Janeiro was the first WCA in 2020, and Barcelona will take over the title in 2026.

The title is given for a three year period, but Copenhagen will focus on 2023 under the title Copenhagen in Common with 300 events throughout 2023 covering History, Everyday and Nature.

CopenHill or Amager Bakke, the ski slope on top of a power plant in Copenhagen neighborhood Refshaleøen

Photo:Municipality of Copenhagen

What is happening throughout the year?

  • The architecture year will kick off with an opening ceremony at City Hall on 17 January 2023.
  • Open House Copenhagen takes place 25-26 March 2023, and is free for everyone. Open House is an international concept, which provides insights into the architecture that shapes how people live, work and go to school as well as the grand buildings that are normally closed for public.
  • 11 June will be the big Copenhagen Picnic. Here locals and visitors alike will come together for a citywide event, where each district will have their own picnic celebrating the local identity.
  • The Copenhagen in Common theme will be the basis for an exhibition (4 May – 22 October) at the Danish Architecture Center (DAC), which looks at what Copenhagen does well and what still needs work in terms of the city architecture. They will additionally open their first permanent exhibition on Danish architecture called Made in Denmark (24 March - ), unfolding the history from the Viking Age till present day. DAC will serve as a hub throughout the year.
Sandkaj Harbor Bath in Nordhavn in Copenhagen
Photo: Giuseppe Liverino, Copenhagen Media Center
A light exhibition at the Statens Museum for Kunst, SMK, Denmark's national art gallery, in Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen, Copenhagen Media Center
  • The UIA World Congress takes place in the city on 2-6 July 2023 at the Bella Center Copenhagen with an aiming to promote architecture as a tool to reach the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This is the first time the congress happens in a Nordic country. 
  • In the summer months, a series of pavilions will be established in Copenhagen City Center for the UIA World Congress, focusing on different UN Sustainable Development Goals and the congress’s theme: Sustainable Futures – Leave No One Behind”.
  • Seven other temporary pavilions will be established in the former railway area Jernbanebyen, which is undergoing a transformation to become a new urban district. The pavilions are created by VELUX and Effekt Architects, and will host exhibitions and events throughout the year.


Please find a selection of architecture photos here.

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PR & Press Manager, UK