The Naerum district of Copenhagen, Denmark, is home to one of the most beautiful community gardens in the world: the “round gardens”, which are actually oval.
Søren Carl Theodor Marius Sørensen is considered one of the finest landscape architects who ever lived, and the naerum oval gardens are one of his best-known projects.
In 1948, 40 oval gardens of approximately 25m x 15m each were laid out on rolling lawns, between HLM on one side and more traditional orchards on the other.
Owners were free to position their chalets, select surrounding hedgerows and design the interiors of their plots, but Sørensen offered some advice, stressing that this was a guideline and not rules.
Seven decades later, the Oval Gardens of Naerum remain one of the Danish capital’s finest attractions.
Initially, Sørensen designed the landscape project as a regular grid of ovals scattered across the lawn, but over time it gave way to a freer arrangement of plots and a more dynamic look.
Despite the freedom of design that each plot owner has enjoyed over the years, the Oval Garden has always retained a certain consistency in certain respects, such as the preference for trimmed rather than untrimmed hedges, which has helped retain its charm. .
One of the most impressive things about the design of Søren Carl Theodor Marius Sørensen is that the oval gardens look amazing from above, and more so from the ground, walking between them. In fact, that was the landscape architect’s plan all along.
The lack of road access to each plot may seem like a defect at first glance, but that’s by design. The Danish landscape architect wanted to encourage homeowners to walk more, get some fresh air before getting in their car, say hello and maybe socialize more with their neighbours. Walking through the Oval Gardens helped them achieve this.