The Culture Yard by AART Architects

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Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

A faceted glass shroud cloaks these former shipbuilding warehouses in Elsinore, Denmark, which architects AART have converted into a cultural centre.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The seafront shipyard buildings of The Culture Yard now contain concert halls, a public library, exhibition rooms, conference rooms and a dockyard museum.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The concrete structure and bricks walls of the existing buildings are left exposed inside the centre, whilst original wrought-iron staircases and balconies are retained behind the glass.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

After dark, the lights behind the transparent facade brightly illuminate the sea-facing side of the building.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Some other popular Danish projects we've published include an artist’s studio inside a stable and a metro station with a spotty circular roof - see all our stories about Denmark here.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Photography is by Adam Mørk.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The following text is from AART:


The Culture Yard

1st prize in open international architecture competition // 17.000m2 cultural centre in Elsinore in Denmark

In many years the attention has been aimed at the site adjacent, where the UNESCO World Heritage site, Kronborg Castle, which is famous for its role in Shakespeare's Hamlet, exerts its magnetic pull on both tourists and local citizens of Elsinore – but now Elsinore’s old shipbuilding yard has been transformed into a 17.000m2 cultural and knowledge centre, including concert halls, showrooms, conference rooms, a dockyard museum and a public library.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The Culture Yard symbolizes Elsinore’s transformation from an old industrial town to a modern cultural hub. In this way, the yard is designed as a hinge between the past and present, reinforcing the identity of the local community, but at the same time expressing an international attitude, reinforcing the relation between the local and global community.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The contrast between past and present permeates the Culture Yard. For instance, the original concrete skeleton with armoured steel has been reinforced, but left exposed as a reference to the area’s industrial past.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The historic context has thus been the main structural idea in the design process, ensuring the keen observer will discover a chapter of history in every corner of the yard and every peeling of the wall.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

In other words, if you want to understand what Elsinore really is, what the intangible blur between past and present feels like, this is the place to visit.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Thanks to architectural features such as wrought iron stairs and concrete elements, interacting with modern glass structures and interior designs, the contrast between the days of yore and the present becomes evident.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

It is the Culture Yard’s way of playing with the field of tension between old and new, making the notion of past versus present, the industrial society versus the information society, constantly present.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Particularly striking, when viewed from the seafront and Kronborg Castle, is the multifaceted façade.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Like a fragmented, yet strongly coherent structure, the enormous glass and steel façade challenges the historic site and stares unflinchingly across the Sound – the strait that separates Denmark and Sweden.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The transparent façade also reinforces the relation between inside and outside, as you can peak in from street level and enjoy the magnificent sea view and view of Kronborg Castle from every floor of the building, especially from the glass cave which in a dramatic gesture protrudes out of the building above the main entrance.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

In this way, the façade encloses the yard in a distinctive atmosphere, as the dazzling and dramatic play of lines generates a sense of spaciousness.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Although the façade is made of hundreds of lines and triangles it appears as one big volume, generating a sense of place and time.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

The volume also takes the environment into account, since the façade not only functions as an aesthetic and spatial architectural feature, but also as a climate shield, reducing the energy demand for cooling and heating of the building.

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Project: 1st prize in open international architecture competition 17.000m2 cultural centre in Elsinore in Denmark
Client: Elsinore municipality
Architect: AART architects A/S
Landscape architect: AART architects A/S
Engineer: Søren Jensen Consulting Engineer
Address: Allégade 2, 3000 Elsinore, Denmark
Year: 2006 - 2010
Size: Approx. 17.000m2
Construction costs: DKR 315 million

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

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Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

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Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

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Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

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Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

Click above for larger image

Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

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Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

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Culture Yard in Elsinore by AART Architects

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  • Jodi Z.

    YES. This is an awesome building. I am glad I stumbled upon it when I went to see Kronberg (Hamlet's) castle.

  • Mr Architecture

    Wauw! Amazing structural glazing, it's like sails on a boat!