Architecture Award for the Bestseller Office Complex
1.10.2015 | On the annual, Danish “Day of Architecture”, C.F. Møller’s new office complex for Bestseller receives the 2015 Architecture Award for outstanding and beautiful buildings.
As per tradition, the municipality of Aarhus honored the city’s architectural icons on the 1st of October, the “Day of Architecture”.
Based on the assessment of around 50 new buildings in Aarhus, C.F. Møller's new office design in the port of Aarhus was selected as an exemplary version of quality construction.
- The building is rewarded for its good layout and the almost artistic use of a simple and clear material palette, the award motivation states.
Versatility on the waterfront
The new office complex for fashion group Bestseller is designed by C.F. Møller as a "town within the town" with lots of rooftop gardens and terraces, communal areas and specially designed solutions.
- The award will help to raise awareness on architectural quality and hopefully it will give developers and clients incentives to prioritize architecture when planning new buildings, says Kristian Würtz, Councillor for Technical Services and Environment in the Aarhus Municipality.
The project, as a whole, closely resembles a flotilla of buildings at different levels, which are connected by a variety of outdoor areas, including atria, terraces and roof-top gardens. The effect of the mix of offices with outdoor areas is to create a sense of this being "a town with the town". The complex, which has canals and water on all four sides, marks the entrance to a new, urban waterfront district – Aarhus Ø.
Simple and elegant
The individual buildings vary from one to twelve storeys. The complex covers a total area of 22,000 m². There is office space, showrooms, photo and film studios and a generous canteen-restaurant area, plus 24,000 m² of parking space and a goods reception zone below street level. These are low-energy buildings, which use both seawater cooling and solar panels. The ability to make such a great mass human in scale is a crucial reason for the award:
- The large building complex is composed of smaller volumes. In this way, it achieves a human scale.
The latitudinal south and north façades have distinctive reliefs, created in natural stone from Sicily, which frame deep window niches. These façades contrast sharply with the simple transparent glass façades framed by natural stone to the east and west. Natural stone is also featured indoors – on stairs and floors, and even as wall covering and furniture. It is combined with dark oak and light metal surfaces to create a refined interplay of colours and textures.
A diversity of spaces
The focal point of the complex is an inner streetscape connecting the buildings, with a central indoor plaza laid over a driveway which splits the building's ground floor into two halves. From the plaza there is access to a communal auditorium, meeting facilities and experimental store environments. Up to 1000 people can gather on the plateau, stairs and balconies to attend large fashion shows and meetings.
The entrance is shaped like a bridge, from which there are views of the building's three underground levels. From the inner street there are varying glimpses into the outer green terraces and rooftop gardens – 10 green outdoor spaces in total.
The street lead to the restaurant area, which is sub-divided into many sections with different ambiances, sizes and degrees of privacy, and which enjoys direct access to terraces and a brand-new canal across the erstwhile Pier 2.
C.F. Møller was also awarded the Aarhus Municipality Architecture Award in 2014, with the new Botanical Greenhouses for the University of Aarhus.