Competition: Ta' Plads (Have a seat) - rethink the city bench on Nikolaj Plads, deadline 25 may 2015

– a competition for rethinking the city bench 

Help us create life on one of Copenhagen’s most central squares!

Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Centre, and Danish Architecture Centre now invite artists, designers, architects, carpenters, furniture makers and others to rethink the classic københavnerbænk, The Copenhagen Bench, with this summer’s competition. 

For too long, Nikolaj Plads has been dominated by parked bikes and building sites. This we want to change. We want to create new life on Nikolaj Plads and to provide the opportunity for an inspirational and thought-provoking stay at one of Copenhagen’s most central breathing holes.   

So give the ideas free rein and submit your proposal for an artistic and newly interpreted take on the classic Copenhagen Bench no later than May 25 2015.

The best proposals will be awarded a DKK 5,000 prize. Depending on the production costs, a number of benches will be produced and placed on Nikolaj Plads from June to August 2015. All the submitted proposals will be exhibited at Nikolaj Kunsthal during the summer of 2015.


Your idea should get the imagination going, and your use of forms and materials should show us something we haven’t seen before. Is the bench a place of rest, a meeting place, an observation post, a free space – or something else? We’re looking for surprises – not a stylish designer bench from an interior décor magazine. We want something else - can you show us what we have in mind?

We see the benches as temporary site-specific works, and Nikolaj Plads must therefore be integrated into the design concept. Design concepts will be favoured in which considerations regarding the choice of materials, safety, weather conditions and variations over day and night have been included. The bench must be robust and easy to maintain.


A cross-disciplinary jury will decide the winners and select the benches to be produced. The jury consists of experts within art, architecture, design and city life who all work with urban space.

The jury is: 

Kent Martinussen, CEO, Danish Architecture Centre.
Tina Saabye, city architect.
Lene Floris, director, History & Art, City of Copenhagen
Ewa Westermark, partner, Gehl Architects.
FOS, artist.
Henrik Vesterberg, journalist, Politiken.
Johanne Løgstrup, curator, Nikolaj Kunsthal.
Andreas Brøgger, head, Nikolaj Kunsthal. 

Depending on the production costs, a number of benches will be produced and placed on Nikolaj Plads from June to August 2015. The number of benches to be produced will be determined by the overall production costs. The bench will subsequently be the property of its creator(s). Nikolaj Kunsthal will however retain the right to the use of representations of the benches for an unlimited period of time.

How to participate in TA’ PLADS 2015

All contestants must fill in a digital PDF registration form in order to participate. Max. 2 proposals per participant/group can be submitted. One email must be sent per proposal.

Download and fill out the registration form

Each proposal should include:

- Visual concept, e.g. drawings of the bench
- Registration form (a total of 4 page)

Deadline: No later than May 25 2015 at 23.59 hrs.

Registration form and visual concept should be sent digitally to:

The subject field of the email should be filled with your surname. 

Format: PDF, JPEG, PNG. Max. 8-10 MB.

Or by mail to:

Nikolaj Kunsthal
Nikolaj Plads 10
DK-1067 Copenhagen K
Please mark the envelope: ”TA’ PLADS 2015”

Please note: If you submit by physical mail you must fill in the PDF registration form and enclose it as a print together with your visual concept. In addition to this, you must send the registration form digitally to the email address above.

If you wish to hand in physical material to us, you may do so in person at Nikolaj Kunsthal up until May 26 at 13.00 hrs (we open at 12.00).

Submitted material will only be returned if we have received a stamped self-addressed envelope with your idea proposal.

If your bench is selected for production you’re responsible for

- producing the bench in co-operation with Nikolaj Kunsthal
- keeping the dates set for constructing the bench on Nikolaj Plads

Further questions concerning the competition can be directed to curatorial assistant Marianne Gøgsig Larsen on (+45) 33 18 17 93 or