The Krane

Unconventional use meets exclusive design

A former coal crane in Copenhagen now offers a unique and exclusive hotel, spa, meeting, and event experience. With THE KRANE, architect Mads Møller of Arcgency has managed, based on his philosophy of resource efficiency, to preserve one of the last coal cranes in the port of Copenhagen. He has given it a new purpose.

A crane reinterpreted

THE KRANE was once a coal crane. When ships arrived in the harbour, the crane loaded coal, granite, and all sorts of other goods onto the quay. This crane is one of the last remaining coal cranes in the northern port of Copenhagen. Everywhere you look today, ports are being converted into residential areas. The few remaining original port elements are slowly disappearing. Mad Møller wanted to take a stand against this trend.

A unique retreat

Arcgency's architecture is fundamentally based on resource efficiency. For projects involving existing buildings, architects focus on how much of the existing building can be reused and how much history remains. Architects call giving a building a new purpose “adaptive reuse”. It was exactly this approach that came into play for THE KRANE. It was about maintaining the quality of the place, adding new elements, and how these two elements can combine to create something even more fascinating – a unique retreat.

Preset perfection

It is a place flooded with daylight. The sun shines from all corners of the world. Mads Møller thought it was important to control the light, so he worked with a mixture of shading and artificial light. The lighting and the entire user interface should be as easy to use as possible. A separate control panel was thus developed which can store presets with perfect light settings for easy operation by future users.

Incredible Colour-Warm Dimming

A key takeaway for the architects from their collaboration with XAL and anker & co is, above all, the Colour-Warm Dimming technology. The light can be dimmed while maintaining the correct colour rendering. It is this quality of lighting that makes visitors feel at home in these newly interpreted spaces.

"We think it's great to see how architecture can inspire people; it doesn't always have to be to scale."

Mads Møller, Arcgency


Much of the world's resources are used when creating architecture. As architects, it is our responsibility to create a better world with better cities without exploiting nature. At Arcgency, we design and build sustainable architecture using innovative construction methods. We are always thinking about the life cycle and reusability. We firmly believe that superior design lasts longer and creates less waste.

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Mads Møller, Architect, Arcgency
Mads Møller, Architect, Arcgency
Photographer: Kris Dekeijser
Lighting Design: anker & co