Inauguration of Bellevue Beach
We helped improve Bellevue Beach – one of Copenhagen’s most well-known – by ensuring that it works with nature, not against it.
We helped improve Bellevue Beach – one of Copenhagen’s most well-known – by ensuring that it works with nature, not against it. On 23 June 2013, the mayor of Gentofte Municipality inaugurated the rehabilitated beach, thereby opening the new and improved recreational destination to the public.
Originally built in the 1930s, the artificial beach was supported by a low seawall and a large groyne field. The groynes – protective structures that extend from shore into the water– helped to prevent erosion of the beach. With amenities designed by famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen, Bellevue proved to be a popular destination, drawing up to half a million visitors annually.
Due to the design of the beach, however, seaweed often became trapped in the system of groynes and on the beach behind the low seawall. In addition, the beach was losing sand. This led to increasing maintenance costs. Over the years, the structures on Bellevue had also become worn out. The entire beach was in need of rehabilitation.
We worked with Hasløv & Kjærsgaard Architects and NIRAS to find a sustainable solution. We recommended removing all the structures instead of repairing them, thereby allowing the beach to work with nature. Using our marine and coastal software, we tested and proved the feasibility of transforming the beach from a heavily protected one to an exposed, natural beach. We confirmed that the new beach sections were stable and sufficiently exposed to waves to sustain a high quality beach.
Due to our recommendations, all the old structures were demolished. A new exposed beach – supported by only a few multifunctional headlands – was then built. In addition to preserving the Arne Jacobsen-designed amenities, the old protected lifeguard towers were also renovated and replaced at the headlands. Now, the new beach is more in tune with nature and requires less maintenance. In addition, less seaweed is trapped, significantly improving the recreational quality of the beach.
Plan of the rehabilitated Bellevue Beach showing new beach controlled by four headlands. © Hasløv & Kjærsgaard