Copenhagen’s Axelborg and Buen buildings are protected by the Lenel OnGuard system easily and with no fuss

axelborg og buen set fra Københavns hovedbanegård

The atmosphere fills with Danish culture and history when you look up at Buen and Axelborg north of Copenhagen Central Station. Almost all Danish motorists have at some point in their lives driven under – or rather through – the building, which is encircled by the Liberty Memorial, Copenhagen Central Station and Vesterport Station. And almost every Dane knows what the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and the DLG Group represent – historically speaking, Denmark’s most important export industry.

But most people do not know that these two buildings from respectively 1920 and 1952-56 are now home to some modern technology that easily and without fuss manages security for the 57,000 square metres of the monumental and impressive buildings, divided between 29,000 square metres in Buen and 28,000 square metres in Axelborg. The Lenel OnGuard system from Petersen-Bach A/S makes sure that access control and video are an integrated and secure part of a busy working day for the 130 tenants and their many employees. It is so effective that only five employees are needed in the property’s administration to manage everyday operations, which – in addition to security – include a lot of other daily work.

“It’s a solidly reliable system, whereby we secure the building shell. We can then scale it up or down as we wish. It’s a bit like your iPhone! It can do an awful lot, but you use it just for what you need”, smiles Joe Fnug Hansen, property manager for both Buen and Axelborg.

The tenant in control

Joe Fnug Hansen and the other four employees constitute the command centre for security. But normally it is the individual tenants themselves that control the access cards for their employees. Nowadays, hardly any keys are handed out – instead 2000 cards using iClass technology decide where the individual employee can come in or out.

“You can sum it up by saying that the individual tenants now manage their own doors and entrances, while we retain overall control”, declares Joe Fnug Hansen, supplemented by Henrik Thomsen, controller in property administration for the two buildings:

“In the old days, all hell broke loose when a key was lost. Today, we just say it was good you reported it so quickly”.

In addition to access control, the fully integrated security system also looks after the 14 elevators. Naturally, there is access control with card readers, but also time control outside of normal opening times. This means no one can gain access to a floor where they have no business. And 29 video cameras, 12 in Axelborg and 17 in Buen, ensure that any irregularities are monitored.

Lars Vatne Nielsen, Sales Manager at Petersen-Bach A/S, explains: “It’s an event system, from which you can extract the necessary information when an event occurs or an alarm sounds – instead of having to follow what is happening minute by minute”.

The system makes it possible to extract a report for every single event. It can produce up to 140 different reports, but the property administration for Axelborg and Buen makes use of far fewer than this.

“On a normal day, we only need some four or five different reports, but the good thing is that the system has the capacity to produce more if needed”, says Henrik Thomsen.

Scale up and down

The gate to the parking area in the complex can also be controlled from the command centre in the property administration, and there is an emergency back-up power supply.

“With this system, we have an extraordinary degree of documentation, which can always be scaled up or down as needed. This is something we discuss when something has happened. But it can certainly be said that with the current system this is no longer a worry. We simply use the part of the system we need right now. And at the same time, we know how much more the system can do”, concludes Joe Fnug Hansen.



Built in 1920, it was designed by the architects Arthur Wittmaack and Vilhelm Hvalsøe. It was originally built by Den Danske Andelsbank and Arbejdernes Andels-Boligforening – and it has housed Statsradiofonien (later Danmarks Radio, ed.). The building was extended towards the east in 1961-65. Axelborg today is synonymous with organised Danish agriculture. The building has been declared worth preserving.


Built from 1952 to 1956, it was designed by the architects Thorvald Dreyer, Ib Lunding and Ole Hagen – and is probably one of the most characteristic modernistic urban buildings in Copenhagen. The building was renovated in the 2000s.