CREATING A ROW IN THE GROVE

CREATING A ROW IN THE GROVE

A photo of Potato Row in Copenhagen, Denmark: a neighborhood of nearly perfect scale and proportions.

A photo of Potato Row in Copenhagen, Denmark: a neighborhood of nearly perfect scale and proportions.


One of the greatest neighborhoods in the world is in Copenhagen, Denmark. The area is called Potato Row and is comprised of approx. 500 individual homes. All the homes are 2 story masonry structures that were built in the 1870’s as worker’s housing. All the homes are in rows and are connected.

The term “Potato Row” has a two fold origin: the area before being built out was originally a potato farm and as the the homes were being constructed in rows, like potatoes, the name stuck.

Originally built as inexpensive and small homes for workers, the Potato homes are now the most highly sought after residences in Copenhagen. Each “townhome” is nearly identical, but you would not know it or feel it when you tour the neighborhood. Each building and front garden are articulated differently through color, plant type, fencing type and lighting. These slight variations create just the right amount of diversity and difference amongst the common architectural language.

JEMA’s new Grove Townhomes takes many cues from the Danish Potato Row. The 2 story townhomes are clad in cement fiber board and batten with raw steel plate at the windows and fencing. Each unit has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms and has a second floor rear yard balcony. Each unit also has a basement. And like Potato Row in Copenhagen, each unit has a front garden.

The Grove Townhomes: each front garden is an invitation to cultivate one’s own identity.

The Grove Townhomes: each front garden is an invitation to cultivate one’s own identity.

Potato rows: can agriculture teach us an architectural lesson?

Potato rows: can agriculture teach us an architectural lesson?

The Grove Townhomes: scale, proportion and simplicity of material gives the street character and civility.

The Grove Townhomes: scale, proportion and simplicity of material gives the street character and civility.

The row homes are nearly identical, each home has a unique front garden.

The row homes are nearly identical, each home has a unique front garden.

The Grove Townhomes: view looking West on Vista Avenue.

The Grove Townhomes: view looking West on Vista Avenue.

Different colors add vibrancy.

Different colors add vibrancy.

The Grove Townhomes: view looking South on Newstead Avenue.

The Grove Townhomes: view looking South on Newstead Avenue.

The most sought after real estate in Copenhagen was originally built as inexpensive worker’s housing.

The most sought after real estate in Copenhagen was originally built as inexpensive worker’s housing.

The Grove Townhomes.

The Grove Townhomes.