After working abroad for six years, young engineer Christen Ostenfeld returned to his hometown of Copenhagen in 1930. Full of creative energy, the 29-year old established his business in a small apartment in Copenhagen's infamous Vesterbro neighbourhood and went straight to work.
Just a stone's throw from the office, Ostenfeld's first major assignment was a comprehensive renovation of the run-down Scala theatre.
COWI consolidated this position by acquiring Swedish company Flygfältsbyrån in 2009 and leading UK tunnel and underground engineering consultants Donaldson Associates Ltd in 2014.
Since the Millennium, COWI has engineered a long suite of large-scale projects, including the Tanzam Highway in Tanzania (2005), the London Array (2009) and the Doha Metro in Qatar (2013). Every year, we are involved in more than 14,000 projects across the globe.
In November 2018, COWI acquired Denmark's largest architectural practice, Arkitema - COWI's biggest ever acquisition. Arkitema is specialised in housing, urban design, office buildings, health and educational buildings. Amongst others it is known for the Sluseholmen, an artificial peninsula in the southern part of the Port of Copenhagen, Denmark.
COWI has continued to be part of the world’s elite in a number of selected specialist areas within engineering, economics and environmental science. In 2017, Engineering News-Record ranked COWI 1st in solid waste, 3rd in bridge consultancy and 4th in harbour and marine structures.