Realdania is a private association in Denmark which supports philanthropic projects in the realms of architecture and planning. Realdania is often erroneously called a private charitable foundation, but Realdania's legal structure is that of an association operating as a business, not a foundation per se. Only owners of real estate in Denmark can become members of Realdania and participate in electing members of the board. Realdania has several subsidiaries.
Its activity is concentrated on supporting projects in architecture and the built environment and is focused on three areas: cities, buildings and architectural heritage. The statutes of Realdania state that the association's purpose is to:
- support non-profit and charitable purposes, primarily in the field of the built environment, and primarily in Denmark,
- run an investment company,
- acquire shares in companies that are engaged in activities pertaining to the built environment,
- provide services related to the built environment, and
- to acquire and construct real property in order to preserve the built heritage and develop Danish building practice
Realdania was established in 2000 following the sale of Realkredit Danmark to Danske Bank, when a fund of approximately 20 billion kroner (EUR 2.7 billion) was put aside for philanthropic purposes. Realkredit Danmark was owned and controlled by its members (mortgage lenders), and this structure was perpetuated in Realdania.
At the end of 2011 Realdania's endowment stood at EUR 2.1 billion.
Projects supported by Realdania include the Danish Architecture Centre in Copenhagen, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Aarhus and the Brewery Site in Copenhagen, commissioned from Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
- Jens Chr. Hansen: "Herreløse milliarder skal tøjles", Berlingske.dk, 25 March 2009 (in Danish).
- Jens Lenler & Torben Benner: "Hvem holder øje med Realdanias milliarder?", Politiken.dk, 17 July 2010 (in Danish).
- Realdania's Statues (in Danish, PDF)
- "Overview". Realdania. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- Brewery Site
- Jørgen Nue Møller (2009). Penge til Huse - Fra kreditforening til filantropisk virksomhed. Realdania. ISBN 8799161842. (Danish)