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Does it Pay to Invest in Good Architecture? The Case of 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark

It is often said that architecture only makes projects more expensive. That architects only add a series of arbitrary and capricious complexities that could be avoided in order to lower their costs, and that the project could still work exactly the same without them. Is this true in all cases?

Although they are more profitable economically, human beings don't seem to be happy inhabiting cold concrete boxes without receiving sunlight or a breeze everynow and then, or in an unsafe neighborhood where there's no possibility to meet your friends and family outdoors. Quality in architecture is a value that sooner or later will deliver something in return. 

Balance is key, and a good design will never be complete if it's not economically efficient. How do we achieve this ideal? We reviewed the design process for 'The Iceberg' in Aarhus, Denmark. A project that managed to convince the authorities and investors when proposing a high-impact and tight-budget design, which in its form seeks to respond to the objective of guaranteeing the quality of life of its users and their neighbors.

The Iceberg, Model. Image © José Tomás FrancoMikkel Frost, Founding Partner of CEBRA, explaining us 'The Iceberg' during the Press Tour of The Architecture Project. Image © José Tomás FrancoThe Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás FrancoThe Iceberg / CEBRA + JDS + SeARCH + Louis Paillard Architects. Image © José Tomás Franco+ 15