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Dorms Disclosed: Bikuben Kollegiet

Some may call Bikuben Kollegiet ugly, but underneath the 70s-style colour palette you find ultra modern facilities and in the summer there are rooftop parties

Whenever I have friends or family over who haven’t visited me before, I tell them to look for the huge orange and gray box right next to KUA. I might also have used the word ‘ugly’ as a descriptive – and there is no doubt that the exterior of Bikuben Kollegiet (the ‘Beehive’) is unusual. Sitting between the old 19th century blocks of Amagerbro and the sandy-coloured university complex, Bikuben Kollegiet definitely stands out.

Brown, orange and concrete

The building was completed in 2006 which means that the dorm offers all the amenities a student can hope for. There is a fitness room, party hall, lounge, study room and several outdoor terraces. The topmost terrace is on the sixth floor and offers a great view over Copenhagen and Amager – perfect for New Year’s Eve parties and summer night barbeques.

There are six floors, and each is a little different. However the student rooms are much the same. Each person gets a bathroom and a kitchenette, and the room itself is spacious and white. Concrete is an integral part of the building’s design which means that the ceilings in the rooms are made of this material, and that most rooms have a wall which is partly made of concrete.

The design of the common areas is dominated by browns and oranges. This design decision is often frowned upon by the inhabitants who find it a bit odd that anybody would choose these 1970’s colors to match the dorm’s expensive and modern furniture. Thankfully, the common kitchens are a neutral white, and – as anybody who has ever lived in an old Copenhagen apartment will be able to appreciate – there are dishwashers!

Halloween, Christmas and social life

Like the architecture, the social life on each floor is different. The most accurate description would be that it is what you make of it. Bikuben Kollegiet has its private Facebook group where people often post if they are having a kitchen party or if they are showing a movie in the lounge. Usually everybody is invited, and it is always a pleasure when a new face shows up.

If you want a social dorm life it is a great idea to join one of Bikuben’s many committees. My recommendation would be the Party Committee as they get together regularly to organize Bikuben’s parties.

Last semester Bikuben had two official parties: The Halloween Party and the Christmas Lunch. Both were preceded by pre-parties: The Pumpkin Party where we carved pumpkins for Halloween decorations, and the Christmas Decoration party where the Baking Committee served cakes and everybody folded Christmas hearts and Christmas stars.

Life on the 4th floor

My floor is one of the most social in the dorm. Most of the time you’ll find people hanging out in the kitchens and the common rooms, and we regularly organize events as well as consume a lot of boxed wine. This means that we have what we call “Red Wine Friday”, which does not necessarily have to be on a Friday.

Sometimes we celebrate Red Wine Friday three times a week. On our floor, most days of the week are connected with a particular kind of alcohol: Cocktail Monday, Tequila Tuesday, Vodka Saturday and so on. We did however deem it necessary to develop Abstinence Wednesday too.

Each Monday we have the official dinner club where the residents of the fourth floor cook for each other. Often many impromptu dinners happen too as a lot of the residents like to cook and make use of the opportunity to get many people together in order to be able to afford an excellent dinner on a student budget.

A modern home

While the beauty of Bikuben Kollegiet can be discussed, there is no doubt that it is a great luxury to live in a modern building. While the old Copenhagen apartments are charming, you can’t help but appreciate the fact that an elevator takes you to your floor, that a dishwasher is right at hand or that the building is isolated so well that you hardly ever hear your neighbours.

And in the dark winter evenings when you see, not the orange and the gray colors, but the welcoming irregular squares of light shining from the box, Bikuben is an especially nice place to call home.

See pictures of the Bikuben-kollegiet below by Kristine Nødgaard-Nielsen.

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