Krane is a One-Of-A-Kind Retreat Set within a Disused Harbor Crane in Denmark

This one-of-a-kind project saw the renovation and transformation of one of Denmark’s disused harbor cranes. Harbors throughout the capital city have undergone renovation works in the last few years, with this project being one of the most recent (and most interesting).


The Danish architecture firm Arcgency were enlisted to revise and propose a new use for the structure. They settled on creating a unique, multi-functional “building”, with rooms interspersed over the height of the crane.



The project was aptly named Krane and is set within the industrial district of Nordhavn. The works included introducing a reception area on the ground floor, a meeting room (dubbed the glass box) on the first floor, a spa and outdoor terrace on the second, and last but not least, a retreat (called the Krane room) with a lounge and terrace on the very top.



The project came about as a result of the city’s desire to produce and maintain sustainable architecture. This extends to reviewing existing disused buildings, and structures, and exploring ways to reintroduce them as functional components within the city’s framework.


The aesthetic of Krane reflects Denmark’s less-is-more approach to design. The interiors are simple, clean, and have an air of serenity. Black has been used throughout. The color alludes to the structures past – the crane was originally used for coal loading, but it also helps to create a muted environment, minimizing distraction and playing with light.


Being set within a harbor crane, the views are staggering, with 360-degree panoramic views available from any point in the structure. To the front you have the water-side, and to the back, the city.


From the architects: “It’s all part of the vision, where the focus has been the integration of sensations – sight, sound and stemning (the danish word for atmosphere)… it kick starts your imagination and it’s the furthest thing from cold or corporate. Here you have a panoramic view at the edge of the water.”


For more retreats, check out Doppelganger, an extension that transforms an old house into a writer’s retreat. Or, Culardoch Shieling, a small retreat designed for gatherings, nesting among the Scottish Cairngorms. See all retreats.

Photos © Rasmus Hjortshøj

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.