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Dorms Disclosed: Hørhus Kollegiet

Amager may not rest high on most people's top 10 dreams of location. But why is that? It has all the shopping you could possibly want, nature is just around the corner and it also has Kollegiefestværket that organizes parties making distortion look like a tête-à-tête.

From the outside, Hørhus Kollegiet does a great job camouflaging itself. The entrance is positioned in the basement level and the façade is anonymous. It blends in perfectly with the surrounding red and yellow brick buildings of the northern part of Amager.

Hørhus Kollegiet has 192 residents and several bigger neighboring residence halls. This means it is not among the renowned dorms in Copenhagen. Nevertheless, the unobtrusive exterior conceals a living residence bursting social and active residents.

The neighborhood

Hørhus Kollegiet is located in the city district Sundbyvester, right between Islands Brygge’s attractive dwellings and Hørgården’s subsidized housings, a former ghetto. The dormitory is the outcome of a design competition and it was finished in 1972.

From the kitchens and rooms facing west at the top of the eighth floor, you can almost get a panoramic view of the protected natural area Amager Fælled. At night, the nearby metro station, DR Byen, and Koncerthuset make a beautiful scene illuminating the area with white and blue colors. You might even be lucky to catch a view of Tivoli’s fireworks show.

To the east, the flat land of Amager spreads. On a windy day, the seaweed from the beach might travel all the way from Øresund to the dorm carrying a a rather distinct smell.

Close to both city and nature

Despite Amager’s tarnished reputation of being located at the outskirts of Copenhagen, you will find most of what you are looking for here. Shopping facilities are great at either Fields, Fisketorvet or Amagerbrogade, all equipped with cafés and restaurants too.

Transportation options are also great. The metro is a six-minute ride to the center and located just 400 meters from the dorm. There are several bus stops around the area as well. The dorm is within five minutes’ walk to University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Humanities and the IT University of Copenhagen. Nature is just arond the corner and the protected area Amager Fælled is great for walking, biking or jogging. It is possible to swim in the ocean to both the east and west of the dorm.

The only thing you will not find plenty of in Amager is nightclubs. In return, you will find a lot of cheap local pubs and bars as well as a plethora of dorms throwing parties open to other dorms. Just recently, an association of party committees of the dorms of Amager was founded, named Kollegiefestværket. It works to give the residents new opportunities to bond and share experiences. Its first party was thrown in May and many more will come in the future.

Great facilities and rooms

The unfurnished 12.3 square meter rooms are equipped with balcony, bathroom and 100/100 MB internet connection. When the residents of the dorm are not isolating themselves in their rooms during exam periods, they meet in one of their floor’s two kitchens. Here they cook, watch a movie or play a game.

The residents of the dorm are mostly Danish but exchange students from around the world can be found on any floor. The dorm does a good job making a smooth transition for the many residents that move out from their parents’ houses. Everything from laundry to electricity to help from the caretaker is included in the rent. The dorm even has its own gym facilities, a tennis court, a soccer field and a music room.

A vibrant and vivid dorm

The dorm is an independent institution. This means that the residents themselves are in charge of the residence. In practice, engaged residents have the freedom to initiate activities through the residents’ council. Residents with special hobbies use this possibility to the benefit of the dorm.

This summer, a few people began working on an urban garden project, setting up trays with soil and sowing seeds. Next year, the dorm will probably have its very own supply of fresh herbs. A little less than a year ago, a handful of people started working on a dorm magazine whose first edition appeared both online and in the kitchens in July. The dorm also has its own band that plays at some of the parties. Besides these hobby-based projects, other projects are based on more practical concerns such as the safety of the dorm and water conservation.

Six parties and Café Coma

Six parties are held each year with around 50 attendants at the smallest and 150 at the largest. The ‘Tour des Cuisines’ unites both the floors and the entire dorm. Each floor is encouraged to decorate their floor’s shared facilities, come up with a game and serve a drink when the rest of the dorm is coming by for 30 minutes.

At midsummer, the dorm’s annual festival is held, and is open to everyone. The garden is transformed to a cool festival space where five bands are playing throughout the day and night, all culminating with a great party in the café.

The café is also the center to the weekly bar nights. Its’ laid back atmosphere with retro furniture, a pool table and foosball, makes it a perfect place to meet fellow residents. On weekdays, people meet to play a board game or a game on the Playstation 3 and now and then the projector will be turned on to watch soccer, Eurovision Song Contest or other events. If any of this sounds appealing, then come by at a party or a bar night and meet with the residents of Hørhus Kollegiet.

universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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