Iconic building in the centre of Copenhagen


The Red Warehouse in Carlsberg City District has been transformed into a modern, high-end office space by CapMan Real Estate Denmark, taking the 140-year-old building and gaving it new life. The building combines Danish industrial history from 1883 with state of the art contemporary architecture and innovative solutions.

The Red Warehouse is located in the heart ofCarlsberg Byen, which is the new city centre of Copenhagen. Over the past decade, the Carlsberg City District has emerged and evolved into a vibrant living, working, and entertainment area with bars and restaurants, urban spaces, and parks, making the area a unique cultural space. The ambition is to gradually develop the former industrial area into an urban neighbourhood, preserving its cultural heritage, ensuring the old buildings are given a second lease of life.

Built by J.C. Jacobsen, founder of Carlsberg, the Red Warehouse is still a unique building in the area, offering a view of the garden once belonging to Carl Jacobsen, the founder’s son and co-owner of the brewery. The Red Warehouse was used as a workshop and grain warehouse during the 20th century. The building had been standing empty for a long period of time when CapMan Nordic Real Estate II Fund acquired the property from the Carlsberg Foundation in 2019; the estate was in a dilapidated state. This did not scare the CapMan team who saw great possibilities in the property.

”It is rare to  get the chance to invest in a building with such unique development opportunities in the most sought-after and vibrant area in the heart of Copenhagen. We saw huge potential in the Red Warehouse, where others mainly saw challenges. The idea was to transform the old brewery building into a state of the art contemporary office space,” says Peter Gill, Head of Real Estate Denmark and project leader.

Preservation of a historic building

The Red Warehouse is CapMan Real Estate Denmark’s most complex project to date. All that remained of the original building was a raw surface, brick walls, and old wooden ceiling beams. The Red Warehouse  appeared partially as a ruin, and there were few traces of the original operations. As the warehouse was a listed building, along with several other buildings in Carlsberg’s old brewery area, careful planning of the restoration and permission for all proposed changes were required.

Under CapMan’s management the project team took a preservative approach to the original masonry structure. Following the removal of an adjacent non-preserved industrial property, a new masonry facade was added, designed in balanced accordance with the remaining original exterior and its historical surroundings.

In order to meet the natural light requirements of a modern workplace, the most important measures were to replace the destroyed northern facade with a new design, including new windows, construction of a new superstructure of a completely new floor level with light glass exteriors, create atrium rooms obtaining daylight from above and installing new windows. Additionally, a new roof a roof top terrace was planned on the top of the buidling.

The Cultural Heritage Agency had identified the Red Warehouse basement as worthy of preservation. As far as possible, the basement spaces were to be preserved and integrated into urban spaces and buildings in the area. The basement under the warehouse was protected together with the vaults under Gl. Carlsberg. Especially the tube-like refrigerator rooms where Carlsberg’s beer was once kept on ice were deemed important to preserve.

A successful transformation

Over the past few years, CapMan has been involved with the successful transformation journey of the Red Warehouse – from its historic roots to its modern conversion, culminating in a space that embodies the perfect blend of heritage and contemporary excellence. The Red Warehouse is a homage to the building’s history that combines original quality with a modern state-of-the art interior and architecture. All new details have been designed specifically for this property.

CapMan’s vision was to preserve and restore the industrial building from 1883 to fit it into the historic brewery environment in the Carlsberg City District. At the same time Peter Gill with his team wanted to add on new modern parts and update the office space with the latest technology.

“The project is an example of how a major transformation can reinterpret a historic building and give it a new life with modern facilities. An example of this is one of Carlsberg’s old refrigerator rooms in the basement, which is now a meetings and lecture space with all the expected and required modern technology. Another example is the central staircase, which is one of the impressive artistic elements in the Red Warehouse. It is an elegant structural solution which makes the staircase appear to be floating in the air. The customised staircase opens up the room in an exciting way.”

Modern office space

The old industrial property has been transformed to a modern office building of 10,000 square meters. With CapMan’s acquisition and meticulous remodelling, the ground floor, first and second floors are now modern office spaces of 6,000 square meters. The basement area consists of approximately 4,000 square meters of meeting rooms, a large TED-like auditorium, a gym, and a bar. On top of the new roof, there is a rooftop terrace of approximately 700 square meters, with outdoor sport facilities and an after-work bar with exquisite views over central Copenhagen.

“The Red Warehouse building has some outstanding qualities that we don’t see in modern buildings –  that is something that companies are looking for to create their brand and strategy. With all the new elements and technology in place, the Red Warehouse fulfils the requirements of the most demanding contemporary tenants. Today it is the perfect meeting place for both employees and customers. Red Warehouse is an attractive workplace where employees want to be. It can also be a recruitment platform for new employees.”

In 2022, the CapMan signed a significant tenant on a long-term lease. The property was sold to the German family-owned company THI Investments with a takeover in 2023. Red Warehouse was completed in August 2023

A CapMan project creates value

CapMan’s focus is to create value and aim for the end target with the investors’ best interests at heart. In a large and complex project of this scale, it is important to resolve a variety of challenges that arise along the way. One needs to keep up the pace and ensure that there are no costly delays. At the same time, one needs to have patience and focus on the long-term potential of the project.

“We knew there would be challenges along the way, so we prepared for that and acted constructively when we needed to solve different situations. The CapMan team worked closely together with the most experienced professionals in Denmark with expertise in transformation of old buildings, including special construction, interior design, and architecture. All of that combined gave us a perfect result. We like challenges – the more complex, the better. That’s when CapMan makes the biggest difference. In the end, that’s what makes value creation and a good deal for our investors.”

Sustainability by real estate development

The project is a well-executed example of how a gentle and thorough transformation by its architecture can reinterpret and rejuvenate a building in harmony with its context. From an ESG-perspective, the building has been certified with BREEAM-in-Use at the Very Good level, showcasing CapMan’s commitment to sustainability.

“The Red Warehouse-project shows that the most sustainable approach to real estate is to reconstruct old buildings and give them new life in a new form. In this project, we are ticking all the boxes when it comes to ESG, which in many ways is the only way forward.”

Property development can be centred around its users and the surrounding community and the Red Warehouse is a perfect example of this. CapMan wants to develop real estate projects that are inclusive, delights the tenant and contributes to the development of liveable communities.

Nominated for Danish architecture prize

The Red Warehouse project has been nominated for and received several acknowledgments. For example the architecture and the design of Red Warehouse was nominated for Arne of the Year 2024, the Danish architecture prize named after the iconic architect Arne Jacobsen. The nomination reaffirms the dedication of CapMan and supports the approach and vision of the project team. The recognition highlights the team’s commitment to both sustainability and architectural excellence that the jury summarised in their description of the project: “The Red Warehouse is a well-executed example of how a transformation through its architecture can reinterpret and breathe new life into a building in harmony with its context.”

Rewarding project

The Red Warehouse has been an educating and rewarding project for everyone at CapMan Real Estate Denmark. Peter Gill and his team, together with cooperation partners, created a new iconic building in Carlsberg City Centre.

“For me personally, it has been one of the most instructive projects I have been involved in. The transformation of the old industrial building into a modern office space property has been very rewarding. I really enjoyed the journey. I loved it. The project has ended in perfect harmony for all parties involved. And we have handed it over to a long-term tenant and a new owner. Hopefully, the Red Warehouse will be a living, property for work at the forefront for several generations to come.”

CapMan and Red Warehouse

CapMan Nordic Real Estate II Fund acquired Red Warehouse in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2019. In 2022, the fund signed a long-term lease for the refurbished office, and CapMan sold the asset to German family-owned THI Investments with a takeover in autumn 2023. CapMan Real Estate manages approximately €4.2 billion in real estate assets, and the Real Estate Team comprises over 65 real estate professionals located in Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, and London.