There's a neighborhood of tiny houses tucked away in a less-traveled area of Copenhagen.
To get there, you have to walk along a harbor front area called Islands Brygge, where you'll pass by massive construction sites and shiny new apartment buildings. Formerly a neglected industrial zone, Islands Brygge has been experiencing rapid development since the early 2000s, and it's now considered to be a desirable residential neighborhood. It's an especially popular spot in the summer, given its proximity to the water.
But if you keep walking, you'll eventually come across a colorful wall of mailboxes and a sign that says, "Velkommen til H/F Nokken." All of a sudden, there's no construction. There aren't any apartment buildings towering above your head. There's just an opening in the bushes and a small road that leads into a green oasis. You've reached Nokken, a neighborhood with some serious size restrictions.
Houses in Nokken can't be taller than a certain height, and most of them aren't very wide either. But beyond that similarity, each house has its own unique style. Many are painted in whimsical colors and at least partially obscured by lush bushes and trees. With a lack of indoor space, residents take pride in their gardens, spending their days among the flowers. The twisting paths throughout the neighborhood make it easy to get lost, but losing your way could mean discovering something amazing. Maybe you'll stumble upon their general store, which is just as tiny as any of the houses.
Port workers and fishermen were the first to inhabit the area, setting up informal shacks on the undeveloped land in the 1930s. The space was previously used as a landfill, and they sourced their building materials from it. Now, around 100 homes make up the neighborhood.
As nearby development began advancing in the direction of Nokken, residents worried about the future of their community. Eventually, the city of Copenhagen granted Nokken status as an allotment garden, a plot of land that must be used primarily for gardening. This status protects Nokken from the encroachment of concrete and glass, ensuring that the charming tiny houses and secret gardens are here to stay.