Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs zero-energy building in Aarhus

Schmidt hammer lassen architects, whose project Urban Mediaspace was featured a couple of weeks ago in ArchDaily, have been announced as winners of the competition for a new zero-energy administration building of the Municipality of Aarhus. The competition, involving six firms, was won in collaboration with the contractor E. Pihl & Son, Engineers Grontmij / Carl Bro and GHB Landscape Architects.

Schmidt hammer lassen architects has taken the environmental ambitions of the municipality of Aarhus as a key driver for the project and created a zero-energy office building, the first of its kind in Denmark. The building has 1,100 m2 of solar cells for the production of electricity, 420 m2 of solar thermal panels for absorption cooling and heating water, and rainwater harvesting for reuse in lavatories and for watering.

More images and full architect’s description after the break.

“This is a genuine sustainable solution. For instance, we use recycled glass for the facades and reuse 96 % of the materials from the demolished building on site. Moreover, it has been crucial to us to keep the design on a human scale to offer the best possible physical conditions to the users,” said architect John Lassen, partner of schmidt hammer lassen architects.

The new building for 240 staff and their clients will be built as an extension to the municipality’s existing administration office dating from 1965. The complex will be situated on a hillside in the southern part of the city and be highly visible from the passing intercity road.

The access to the new building will go through an existing alley of unique and beautiful plane trees. The overall proposal is based on the qualities of the old buildings and the preserved charming garden. Even before it is built, the new complex is already equipped with garden spaces, trees and plants that it would otherwise take decennials to grow.

The full complex will appear as a fully integrated classic modern composition. The new extension is an independent unit consisting of two parallel wings of 2-3-storey buildings connected by towers concentrating stairs, elevators, lavatories and washrooms. Consequently, the office areas are liberated from functional units and are flexible to any sort of organization. Three gardens are placed between the two wings to draw nature into the building and enable the employees to follow the seasons from their desks.

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Cite: Sebastian Jordana. "Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs zero-energy building in Aarhus" 21 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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