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The Iceberg / SeARCH + CEBRA + JDS + Louis Paillard Architects

The Iceberg / SeARCH + CEBRA + JDS + Louis Paillard Architects

© Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost © Mikkel Frost + 140

Apartments  · 
Aarhus, Denmark
  • Collaborators

    NCC, Tækker R.I., Hamiconsult
  • Client

    PensionDanmark
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© Mikkel Frost
© Mikkel Frost

Text description provided by the architects. The Iceberg is located at a prime location on the outmost harbour front in Aarhus’ new quarter Aarhus Ø (Aarhus East) and consists of 208 apartments. Like many other worn-out industrial harbour areas, the former container port of Aarhus is being transformed into a vibrant new neighbourhood.

Section CC
Section CC

The Iceberg is among the first projects to be finished in an area that on completion will be home to 7,000 inhabitants and provide 12,000 workplaces. Its total site area of 800,000 m2 makes it one of Europe’s largest harbour front city developments.

© Mikkel Frost
© Mikkel Frost

The inspiration for the Iceberg originated primarily from the site’s extraordinary location with spectacular views over the Aarhus Bay. Thus, the seemingly simple task was to maximize views and sunlight conditions for every single apartment and at the same time respect the in- land urban context.

Third Floor Plan
Third Floor Plan

Instead of following the masterplan, which was dominated by closed building blocks, the Iceberg is laid out as four L-shaped wings, where the street spaces inbetween open towards the water. In order to obtain optimal daylight conditions and views over the bay, the building volumes are cut up by jagged lines.

© Mikkel Frost
© Mikkel Frost

The roofs rise and fall into peaks and valleys, which create visual passages across the individual volumes - like floating icebergs that constantly refract one’s gaze. Thus, even the back wing’s residents can enjoy the view. The principle of dividing each building into tops and valleys contributes to adapt the scale of the buildings to the surroundings and the interior spaces. Instead of be- ing considered as a block turning inwards the complex be experienced as an open stucture, creating more architectural appeal.

© Mikkel Frost
© Mikkel Frost

In selected areas the structure of the building is pressed down towards street level to create a harbour oriented character and scale. In other areas the structure is pulled upwards to create a more urban qualities. City and harbour meet in one common idiom.

Sun Diagram
Sun Diagram
Views Diagram
Views Diagram

The varying and spectacular forms that derive from this simple algorithm make it possible to fit a varied range of different dwelling types within the complex – the outer geometry is changed upwards through the building and consequently also in the flats, which range from two- storey ‘town houses’ and affordable smaller flats to exclusive penthouses in the peaks.

© Mikkel Frost
© Mikkel Frost

The variety of residences with different balconies, shapes and orientations as well as the combination of owner-occupied and rented flats aim at creating socially diverse urban surroundings that form a lively local community: the building complex becomes a neighbour- hood instead of a mere series of housing blocks.

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Project location

Address: Mariane Thomsens Gade, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "The Iceberg / SeARCH + CEBRA + JDS + Louis Paillard Architects" 07 Mar 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/483415/the-iceberg-cebra-jds-search-louis-paillard-architects/> ISSN 0719-8884
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