With the aim of creating a new civic experience at a central point in the city of Aarhus, Denmark, the 'Next Level' project by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects expands the interior capacity of the ARoS Art Museum through a 1,200 square meter subterranean gallery and a huge semi-subterranean dome. The €40 million expansion plan was born from a collaboration with renowned American artist James Turrell, generating a unique experience of color and light.
The horizontal underground space will extend 120 meters below the surface, allowing the visitors to pass through a string of galleries and exhibition spaces before arriving at the Dome. "With its 40 meter diameter, the Dome will form one of the most spectacular spaces ever built into an art museum," explain the architects.
The ARoS Art Museum has been promoting the union between art and architecture for several years. In 2011, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson created 'Your Rainbow Panorama', an impressive multicolored lookout constructed over the original building that functions as a visual link between the museum roof and the Aarhus skyline.
In 2020, the building will be reintervened by Schmidt Hammer Lassen, its original designers, avoiding the current tendency to build vertically in order to integrate with the natural flows of the city at the pedestrian level, from the river to the square of the Aarhus Music Hall. 'The Next Level' will extend from the current main entrance of ARoS to the courtyard of the neighboring square Officerspladsen.
"The Dome will rise nine meters above ground level. Whilst the first two underground galleries are almost completely hidden, only a change in the landscape hints at the larger building hidden under the ramp," add the architects.
The Next Level project will open to the public in 2020.
LocationAros Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Cost40 million EURO excl. VAT
StatusTo be completed in 2020
ClientAarhus Municipality ARoS, Aarhus Art Museum
Client consultantKuben Management A/S
Engineer & subconsultantCOWI A/S
Artist collaborationJames Turrell (US)
Landscape architectSchmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
ContractorPer Aarsleff A/S
VisualisationsBeauty & The Bit
PhotographsCourtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Morten Fauerby Montgomery