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Tietgen’s Agony

The block of flats, Tietgen’s Agony, in Copenhagen is the last in a series of buildings constructed in the nineteenth century under the patronage of the financier C.F. Tietgen in the area surrounding Frederik's Church.

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Danish financier Carl Frederik Tietgen completed work on Frederik's Church in the district of Frederiksstaden in Copenhagen. Work on the church had begun in 1749. In order to finance the construction of the church, Tietgen built the blocks of flats which surround it. These were designed by the architect Ferdinand Meldahl.

However, Tietgen did not manage to purchase the final row of eighteenth century houses facing Store Kongensgade, and to his great regret and agony he was unable to complete the building project as originally conceived. Ever since, in a typical piece of Copenhagen irony, the unbuilt corner plot and the row of eighteenth century houses have been known as “Tietgen’s Agony”.

Several generations of architects have tried their hand at erecting buildings on this corner plot, but without success. Over the years the plot has been used as a mason's yard, garage, petrol station and hot-dog stand. Realdania By & Byg purchased the site with an intention to erect a property to complete the ribbon development.

The English architect Tony Fretton was chosen to design the building. Fretton has experience from developing complex historical, cultural and urban neighbourhoods in other major cities, and he has a talent for integrating the existing urban milieu into his contemporary artistic designs.

Apartment in Tietgen's Agony / Credit: Christian Richters

Apartment in Tietgen's Agony / Credit: Christian Richters

Architect/builder:

Tony Fretton Architects Ltd

Year of construction:

2009-2010

Geography:

Copenhagen

Style and period:

Developmental construction

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