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Dorms Disclosed: Bikuben — the quirky beehive

Dorms Disclosed — The Bikuben [beehive] residence hall in the Amager-district of Copenhagen is known for its remarkable architecture and its trash collecting.

The beehive is hard to miss. The square building with grey and orange walls is right next to the University of Copenhagen’s South Campus in the Amager district. 110 inhabitants live here on six floors, which are layered on top of each other in rotating L formations to make up an inner courtyard. The design makes the building, to a large degree, soundproofed despite its location on the busy Amager Fælledvej thoroughfare.

This is the second time that the University Post reviews the Bikuben dorm. Read a previous review here which includes more pictures.

»One of the unique things about our residence hall is its strange shape,« says Johanne Bønløkke Høgfeldt, who lives in the dormitory and who is chairperson of the Bikuben’s resident council. »People always find the building either wildly cool or just really ugly.«

SEE THE FULL ‘DORMS DISCLOSED’ UNIVERSITY POST SERIES: Reviews by student residents of dorms and residence halls in Copenhagen

Never alone

There is, however, a higher meaning behind the Bikuben’s fun design.

»The architecture supports the community,« says Johanne Bønløkke Høgfeldt. From any kitchen you can see into the other kitchens, that all face the courtyard. »In this way, you never feel alone. Even if you are sitting alone in your own kitchen, you can see if there is anyone in one of the others.«

BIKUBEN KOLLEGIUM

Address: Amagerfælledvej 50A, 2300 København

bikubenkollegiet.dk

Monthly rent: DKK 4,000

Average age: 23-24

Application process: Combined waiting list on s.dk and a motivation letter. You need to study a certified Danish degree programme.

In the Bikuben, the sense of community is not limited to one floor, or to the kitchen that you belong to. Social events are held for everyone at the same time – and there are many of them.

»I hesitate to say that we are a party dorm, because we really try to make sure that this is not a nuisance to anyone,« says Johanne Bønløkke Høgfeldt. »But yes – we do have a lot of parties.«

More precisely, one party is planned every month under themes like ‘Tour de Bikuben’, ‘ Beer pong tournament’ and a summer festival with semi-provocative names like ‘Warm and wet III’. The New Year is celebrated on the dormitory’s large rooftop terrace, which is also used for food clubs and gardening in the warmer months of the year.

One of the common kitchens is called Bodil.
image: Anna Trads Viemose
Bikuben's rooms come with their own kitchenette and bathroom.
The Bikuben has its own fitness room.

Resident councils and green bees

You are not excluded from the community if you are not into parties, far from it. There are also a number of active committees that you can take part in to make your mark on the dormitory and to meet the other residents.

One of the committees is ‘the green bees’, which is responsible for finding new ways to make the dorm as sustainable as possible using all kinds of different methods. They work with the party committee, for example, to limit the amount of plastic waste at parties, and in the spring the committee organised a trash collection in the local area.

Dorms disclosed

There are loads of dormitories, kollegiums, and student residences in Copenhagen, yet most of the information available is in Danish.

Some are small, old houses with pretty gardens, others are giant concrete buildings with tiny windows.

This is a review by a student reporter. But in the Dorms Disclosed series, it is the residents themselves that review the dorms that they live in.

Here is an overview with links to all of the dormitory and student accommodation reviews we have published so far, written by the people who know them the best.

If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to uni-avis@adm.ku.dk with ‘Dorms Disclosed’ in the subject header.

Apart from sustainability, social responsibility is one of the key goals of the Bikuben, explains Johanne Bønløkke Høgfeldt. The residents’ council therefore works in collaboration with the foundation behind the residence hall to allocate a number of rooms to socially disadvantaged young people from the City of Copenhagen’s youth project.

If you are interested yourself in getting a room in this remarkable building in the Amager district, which is open to everyone who is enrolled in a certified Danish degree programme, then hurry up and sign yourself up on the waiting list. Remember to send a motivation letter to the admissions committee – they can put you on the queue if they like what they read.

[This review has been written by a student reporter at the University Post.  If you want to write an English-language review of your dorm write to uni-avis@adm.ku.dk and mark it ‘Dorms Disclosed’]

READ ABOUT OTHER RESIDENCE HALLS AND DORMS HERE: Student housing reviews: Dorms and residences in Copenhagen

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