DFDS, headquarters, Copenhagen

PLH Arkitekter has designed the new Copenhagen headquarters for the shipping company DFDS. The beautiful location on the dock across from DFDS’ own ferry terminal, overlooking the entry and exit of The Copenhagen-Oslo Ferry, is ideal for the shipping company. The terminology from DFDS’ own world is transferred to the design and functions of the office building. The iconic design makes the DFDS-culture come alive and underlines the maritime identity of the company. At the same time, the welcoming building supports a modern and activity based work environment. The building can also facilitate activities and events, contributing to an integrated DFDS-experience for customers, visitors and collaborators.


  • Corporate
  • Workplace design


Copenhagen, Denmark


2019 – 2022




Around 15,500 m² – including 3,200 m² basement and parking


Owner: PensionDanmark – Tenant: DFDS





Ideal location on Marmormolen, close to DFDS’ own terminal area
The new headquarters for DFDS is placed on ’The Marble Pier’ in The Copenhagen harbour, situated on the edge of the city and the harbour, and with a view over the Olso Ferry. The office building creates balance on the pier – with a visual context and connection between the new building and its neighbours: The striking white UN building and The Marble City. The location right across from DFDS’ own terminal area next to the entry and exit of the Olso Ferry – and, with a view over the city, the sky and the ocean, is ideal for DFDS and strengthens the maritime identity of the shipping company. The ground floor contains a café with outdoor areas. Around the café, in the front end of the building facing the ocean, the facade of the office building is transparent creating an open and inviting atmosphere.

Inspiration from the world of DFDS
The maritime world of DFDS has been an inspirational source of the architectural concept, the location on the pier and the placement of the functions inside the building where the more exciting and outwardly directed functions are placed in the upper part of the building with a great view. The elongated building is placed on the dock with a view over DFDS’ own ferry terminal, and a light zigzag in the layout of the building creates a wavy architectural expression forming the illusion of a moving building. Rooftop terraces in the gable of the two top floors give employees and visitors an amazing view over the water.

Søren Mølbak
+ 45 2720 0591

"With a tenant of this calibre with very high demands for environmentally sound quality materials, indoor climate and energy savings we have ensured our members good and stable investment returns for a number of years"

- Torben Möger Pedersen, CEO in PensionDanmark

“With an ambition to be climate neutral by 2050, it was crucial for us that our new construction matched the highest sustainability standards. It is about environmentally friendly quality materials, indoor climate and energy consumption. For example, we have had solar cells installed on the roof and the entire construction is DGNB Gold certified”

- Henrik Svane, Head of Facility Management at DFDS

“It has been a pleasure to work together with DFDS to set and meet such high sustainability goals. We have drawn on our expertise and extensive experience from other projects, making sure we create a unique, futureproof headquarters that offers some of the best sustainable solutions, excellent indoor climate and modern social considerations”

- Søren Mølbak, CEO and partner in PLH Arkitekter

An activity based working environment
The office floors are placed in the middle of the building, on the floors 3-5. The idea of departments has been abolished, and DFDS has chosen a workplace design with free seating, where 560 workstations cover the needs of 700 employees. The design of the office areas are based on an activity based workplace design supporting different working methods and forms of collaboration across the organisation – and at the same time giving the individual its own freedom to choose the surroundings that best suits his or her needs.

To make the most of the daylight, in each end of the building, facing the waterside façade, an atrium covering two floors has been placed. The two atriums open up the building and support interaction in between departments. The atriums also support knowledge sharing as well as an open culture of interaction and the collaborative culture of DFDS: The DFDS Way. The atriums create a great flow through the building making it easier to meet naturally across the organisation. The transparency created by the atriums underlines a visual and mental connection in between the employees. The narrow construction area leads to an elongated building where the workstations are placed along the windows as undisturbed and bright as possible. The elongated layout is broken down with the introduction of angles – creating new views and experiences for employees and visitors.

Multi-functional auditorium for sports and lectures

The outwardly directed functions such as meeting rooms, auditorium, canteen and rooftop terraces are all placed on the upper floors. This leads guests to the top of the building, where they can enjoy spectacular views of the city, water and the old industrial harbor. On the 6th floor is the canteen, which after working hours can be used for various events. Next to it, an auditorium covering two floors can be used for everything from lectures, product launches, employee events to sports activities and townhalls. Furthermore, an employee fitness room is found in the basement.

Reflecting DFDS’ strong focus on sustainability, green sedum and solar panels are installed on the roof. The entire building is certified DGNB Gold with the energy label BR18, low energy class.