The winning project was conceived as a result of close interdisciplinary cooperation between Vargo Nielsen Palle, ADEPT, Rolvung & Brøndsted Arkitekter, Tri-Consult and Steensen Varming. The development will replace the Aarhus School of Architecture’s outdated premises in the old merchant’s house at Nørreport; originally intended as a ‘temporary’ home, they have been the primary facilities for the school for more than 50 years.See the full jury report, including designs from the other competing firms, here. Written by Patrick Lynch
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This article was originally published on ArchDaily as "Team Led by Emerging Architects Vargo Nielsen Palle Beats Out BIG, SANAA in New Aarhus School of Architecture Competition." Competing against a shortlist of internationally acclaimed architects, the team led by newly established practice Vargo Nielsen Palle (in collaboration with ADEPT and Rolvung & Brøndsted Arkitekter) has been selected as the winners of the NEW AARCH competition, which sought designs for several new buildings for the Aarhus School of Architecture and the development of the surrounding area in Aarhus known as Godsbanearealerne. The restricted competition consisted of three invited practices—BIG, SANAA and Lacaton & Vassal—and the three winners of the earlier open qualifying competition, Vargo Nielsen Palle, Erik Giudice Architects, and ALL (Atelier Lorentzen Langkilde). Vargo Nielsen Palle’s proposal was chosen as the unanimous winner. “It is a powerful project that interweaves with its surroundings, Ådalen, the city and the surrounding neighbors in the area,” said the happy rector of Aarhus School of Architecture, Torben Nielsen. “The new school of architecture will be a cultural hub that encourages interaction and dialogue. An open, pragmatic, flexible structure that allows for continuous change and adaptation to changing needs, and which focuses on the future life and activities inside the building. It will be a factory for architectural experimentation that will set the stage for cooperation with the city, the profession and our neighbours—just as we wanted.” The jury had been given the choice of nominating up to three projects to continue into the negotiation process, but found Vargo Nielsen Palle’s proposal to be so compelling, they declared it the sole winner. “[Vargo Nielsen Palle’s entry] provides the most optimal starting point for constructing a new school for Aarhus School of Architecture in terms of architecture, functionality, and economy,” stated the jury in their concluding report. “In terms of scale, the winning project relates well to Carl Blochs Gade and plans the many uses as a ‘city within the city’, where visual contact between the school’s diversified users encourages cooperation and mutual inspiration. The building structure is stepped down in height towards a central urban space that opens up the school towards the city and the neighboring institutions.”
Danish practice 3XN Architects has unveiled its design for a new dwelling complex in the district of Randersvej in Aarhus, Denmark. The so-called "La Tour" will encompass a historic brick water tower, built in 1907. The circular complex will house 300 apartments, rising 312 feet to become the fourth tallest building in the country, though only marginally shorter than the city's cathedral which stands at 315 feet. Despite being based in Copenhagen, 3XN has been working in Aarhus for more than 10 years, having seen two previous projects constructed there already. As for its latest scheme, the city council has so far granted preliminary approval with the public now able to comment on the plans. In a press release, 3XN stated that it anticipates approval for the 31-story complex this summer. "La Tour responds to its specific location and will contribute to the surrounding neighborhood on many levels and in a positive way," said 3XN Founder and Creative Director Kim Herforth Nielsen. La Tour was conceived by 3XN with an aim to produce "low cost high quality housing, suitable for young people and families." In doing so, a rounded form, massing an array of box-like dwellings, expands vertically to form the tower. Such an approach allows the building to gently blend in with its surroundings and not inflict an abrasive linear aesthetic on the skyline. "We paid particular attention to the building scale, so that it is both distinctive and visible in the city, but also embraces the local environment in one fluid motion," continued Nielsen. "La Tour will forge an identity in the urban context. Visible in the distance from many parts of the city, it will become a part of the city skyline, serving as a point of orientation." The structure's form also uses terracing to break the threshold between the "flat volumes" in the vicinity and the "urban high rise typology." The architects used the historic water tower as a contextual placeholder around which the new building wraps in an effort to blend old and new.
Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs a Danish residential complex with green facades inspired by a local ivy-covered school
Last week, Scandinavian firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects announced another win. The firm will design a new residential development, Valdemars Have, in the heart of Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark. "Resting on a sloping terrain in a tranquil location within walking distance of Aarhus’ major cultural attractions, Valdemars Have will become a prime location for those seeking an oasis of calm within the bustling city," says the firm. The development will contain 106 apartments, ranging from 2-bedroom apartments to large penthouses with private roof terraces. According to Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the buildings modernly interpret traditional, red brick townhouses, by playfully arranging the masonry and balconies. The brick, will vary from light red to nearly black, in order to blend with the older context. The planted exterior facade was influenced by the neighboring Brobjerg school, covered in ivy. Schmidt Hammer Lassen said, "The green facade gives the project a unique look and enhances the experience of a building 'planted' within a garden, where the landscape and the green elements give character and identity to the building." The development is broken down into two east-west buildings, six levels each. Along the neighboring street, Valdemarsgade, the development lowers to four levels to meet the surrounding condition. According to the firm, the development's organization ensures optimal daylight from all directions, and the north side promenades, which will replace the existing paths, ensure the public will feel welcomed to explore the garden-like development.
In a commentary against waste-producing lifestyles, Indian artist creates a sculpture made from 70,000 bottle caps
Indian artist Arunkumar HG has created a somewhat tongue-in-cheek calling out of our throwaway, waste-producing lifestyles with a shoreline sculpture made from nearly 70,000 bottle screw caps. The artist amassed the collection from his neighborhood over the course of a year, carefully stacked the caps, and connected them in vertical configurations using steel filaments. An undulating, horseshoe-like form resulted, resembling, from afar, a mosaic that is pleasant to behold courtesy of the various colors. “There is a huge imbalance in between our sustainable ecology and our contemporary living practices,” the artist told Designboom. Titled Droppings and the Dam(n), the sculpture is made from bottle caps sourced from Arunkumar’s town of Gurgaon, India, to “map the consumption pattern of the society at the time” and show the scale of waste produced within a limited time period. The sculpture was built for the most recent edition of "Sculpture by the Sea" in Aarhus, Denmark, a government-funded public arts project originating on Sydney’s world-famous Bondi beach. “I have always loved large community arts events like 'Opera in the Park' and 'Symphony Under the Stars', especially the way total strangers sit next to each other listening to music while enjoying a picnic dinner and a few glasses of wine,” David Handley, founding director of Sculpture by the Sea, wrote in a post on the official website explaining the reason he started the initiative. “To me this sense of community is too rarely displayed or available in the modern world.” The month-long public art exhibition is Denmark’s largest visual arts event and typically attracts half a million visitors.
Chimes Bridged. It seems there's something to making music while we walk. First a Swedish architect designed piano stairs and now an artist has created a musical bridge. Blending the sculptural, auditory, and kinetic, artist Mark Nixon designed a whimsical bridge that "sings." Chimes hidden below the span are activated as visitors walk across, Gizmodo says. The musical creation was last displayed at Sculpture by the Sea, an exhibition in Aarhus, Denmark. Village Uncovered. Villa Epecuen, a town located on Lake Epecuen, southwest of Buenos Aires, was flooded in 1985, but now after more than two decades, the water is receding. Photographs by The Atlantic uncover a strange, haunting landscape: aerial views expose the original street layout of the town, while others reveal original trees and cars visible amid the rubble. Carmageddon Averted. For two days last weekend, the busiest stretch of highway in America—the 405 Freeway in LA—was shut down for construction. While many feared disastrous traffic jams bringing life in LA to a halt, it turns out that life went on without incident, according to the LA Times. During the traffic-non-event, JetBlue offered to fly residents between two of the city's airports in Burbank and Long Beach, sparking a challenge from cyclists who said they could make the trip faster. As reported in Slate, it turns out the bikes were right, making the trip nearly an hour-and-a-half faster than by plane. Destruction Archived. Information Aesthetics points us to the “Hiroshima Archive” which documents the extensive societal and structural devastation the atomic bomb caused 66 years ago. Using Google Earth’s virtual globe, the digital archive exhibits topographical maps, contemporary building models, photographs, and personal accounts from the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Hiroshima Jogakuin Gaines Association, and the Hachioji Hibakusha (Atomic Bomb Survivors) Association.