The Opera House, located on the island of Holmen in Copenhagen
Harbour was designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen and
includes a magnificent five-storey foyer with a double-curving
glass façade and curving outer shell that separates it from the
The sculptural auditorium, nicknamed ‘The Shell’, has the
appearance of floating in the foyer. The exterior walls, covered in
a warm maple, stand in sharp contrast to the curved glass and steel
facade of the foyer.
The main auditorium, with seating in the traditional horseshoe
form, seats approximately 1,500. The balconies are clad in light
maple the walls in dark maple, the floors are oak.
‘The Shell’ stands 21 metres high. It has a surface of 2,000
sq metres which consists of 800 different shaped pieces of ‘shell’,
that were designed using sophisticated computer technology.
The job of coating the shell in curved maple was awarded to the
Danish specialist carpentry firm of Bruno Hansen. They
successfully solved the problem of bending the maple in three
dimensions and provided the opera house with a curved maple wood
shell that underlines the handsome Scandinavian style of the
But, when it came to cleaning the maple wood surface and keeping it
in pristine condition the Opera’s lift, purchased for this specific
job, could not reach the whole area. A director from Bruno Hansen
knew of the Nilfisk Backuum and approached the company to see how
it could help.
A team of abseiling cleaners with the Nilfisk Backuum™ on their
backs were brought in. They went through the ceiling and then
down to the shell cleaning as they went slowly down and then up
again. The results were tremendous and another cleaning problem was
solved using an innovative cleaning product and cleaning method.
The Nilfisk Backuum™ provides freedom to clean quickly, efficiently
and even in the most difficult locations. The cable version, used
in the Opera House, with its 265W suction, airflow at 38.5 litres
per second and weighing in at just 4.5 kg is a powerful performer.
The Nilfisk Backuum™ is also available as a battery powered model
and provides 100 per cent freedom to clean wherever and whenever
required. With its 100W suction and ease of changing the batteries,
impressive productivity can be achieved – up 30 per cent when
compared to a traditional vacuum cleaner.
The Copenhagen Opera House opened in January this year. The
AP Møller and Christine McKinney Møller Foundation donated the
opera house, known as Operaen, to the Danish people. The
opera totals 41,000 sq metres with more than 1,000 rooms including
several rehearsal rooms and an orchestra pit that can accommodate
over 100 musicians.