AART Architects has won a competition to design a significant new residential and commercial complex in the heart of Aarhus Ø, the newly developed port district of Aarhus, Denmark. The winning proposal, dubbed the Nicolinehus, focuses on “injecting life and authenticity into the new port district and [paving] the way for the unique opportunities the setting provides.” Its design draws inspiration from the old residential blocks of the city center, rethinking the courtyard block typology into a “hybrid of classic residential block and terraced landscape.”
Partnering with property developer Bricks and landscape architect Schønherr, AART Architect sought to merge the function and aesthetics of the two different architectural approaches to create a whole that creates a sense of community and vibrancy.
“The encounter between the rigid structure of the square and the staggered surfaces of the terraced landscape creates a visionary architectural work – open and vibrant, and with views aplenty, where people will live their lives in courtyards and roof gardens, and on balconies,” explain the architects in a press release.
The approximately 40,000 square meter (430,000 square foot) complex is divided into separate residential and commercial sections, which connect the building to the nearby marina and harbor swimming pool. Nicolinehus is organized around two courtyards, shaping views to important city landmarks including the verdant woodland of Riis Skov, the old marina and the historical city centre. Roof gardens provide residents and workers with platforms to take in these these vistas.
In addition to the building form, Nicolinehus draw from the material tradition of the historic housing blocks, utilizing a textured red brick which has been “processed in different ways to invest the façade with life and personality.” Along the stairways, the brick has been perforated to bring in daylight and to project an imprint of the circulation on the building’s facade. In other locations, it protrudes to create bay-window-like openings.
“This is modern architecture with a flair for craftsmanship,” state the architects. “This is architecture created to look as beautiful in the future as it looks today. It is resilient and tough and will withstand the weather conditions on the waterfront.”
News via AART Architects.