Aarhus' urban regeneration continues with opening of €280m Dokk1 cultural space

by Kim Megson | 21 Oct 2015

Scandinavia’s largest library has opened in Aarhus, as the high-profile regeneration of the Danish city’s historic harbour-front continues.

The 30,000sq m (323,000sq ft) building, called Dokk1, has been designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects; the international studio responsible for the RIBA award-winning University of Aberdeen New Library.

Dokk1's higher levels are contained with a polygonal structure, which the architects intended to create an impression of rotation and movement. The unconventional shape also provides visitors with 360-degree views of the water, harbour, city and surrounding forest.

A large public plaza is located on the glazed ground floor, which rests on a podium above the banks of the Aarhus River.

The studio said that the library represents a ‘transparent covered urban space’ that will bring together the entire city. In addition to the library space, it contains exhibition areas, cafes, play areas and a children’s theatre.

The firm's senior partner, Kim Holst Jensen, said: “Dokk1 is not simply a building, it is a place for exchanging knowledge and opportunities and a multicultural meeting point that will change people’s perception of the entire city.

"The building enhances the special setting with an architecture that creates an exceptional visual connection to the city - both from inside the building and out."

With a hefty price tag of over €280m (US$317m, £205m) Dokk1 is the the most expensive construction in Aarhus’ history. It will sit at the centre of a large-scale harbour-regeneration project called Urban Mediaspace, which is being overseen by schmidt hammer lassen in collaboration with Kristine Jensens Landscaping and engineering company Alecta. That project will see the addition of new houses, a citizen service centre and harbourside public squares.

In a separate project, construction is expected to start this year on the Bjarke Ingels-designed ‘Aarhus Island’, another harbour scheme that will feature more than 200 residential units, plus a series of public spaces including swimming pools and areas for recreational activities.

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Scandinavia’s largest library has opened in Aarhus, as the high-profile regeneration of the Danish city’s historic harbour-front continues. The 30,000sq m (323,000sq ft) building, called Dokk1, has been designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects; the international studio responsible for the RIBA award-winning University of Aberdeen New Library. Dokk1's higher levels are contained with a polygonal structure, which the architects intended to create an impression of rotation and movement. The unconventional
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In addition to the library, Dokk1 contains exhibition areas, cafes, play areas and a children’s theatre / schmidt hammer lassen architects
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