Willemoesgade city block, Aarhus

Project: Transformation of urban industrial complex for residential -and commercial units
Year: 2017-2018
Client: Freja Ejendomme
Size: 18.000 – 20.000 m2
Architect: ELGAARD Architecture
Status: Parallel assignment, closed
Listed: Partly

From industrial complex to public realm, residential -and commercial units.
A former industrial complex in Aarhus needed revitalisation. The cultural-historical very interesting city block is transformed into a multifarious and vibrant melting pot for people and city life through contemporary housing, commercial units, and public realm.

Willemoesgade city block is part of a common understanding of and on Trøjborg. The buildings have among others been home to a paper mill, Otto Mønsted Margarine Factory, and the Brewery Trøjborg, and the architecture is equally historicistic and modernistic.

Through distillation and by pinpointing the individual architectural qualities of the individual buildings the distinctive post-industrial aesthetics is highlighted, adding new urban and public-oriented functions. Hereby a future identity for the area is created which is deeply rooted in the culture and architectural history of the place. The concept shows a broad architectural expression partly enhancing the individual character of the historical buildings and tying them together with each other and the area by the intentional use of scale, form, colour, materials as well as public realm and gardens.

By approaching the buildings individually their original qualities are rediscovered at the same time as they are reinterpreted in new architectural elements contributing to the creation of contemporary housing, workplaces and outdoor spaces in a valued relationship between new and old.

Through a diverse transitional zone alongside the perimeter, an open and inviting atmosphere is created giving quality and life to the city at the same time as the city is invited into the heart of the complex. The outdoor areas are used for creating coherence throughout the complex offering varying degrees of privacy and publicity in the public domain; rest and passage. Hereby the outdoor areas function as green parks, vivid public realms for activities and intimate courtyards all at the same time.

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