C.F. Møller Architects and Nordland Arkitekter have won the project for a new multi-storey car park and activity centre in Aarhus
Kulhuset is located next to the historic Kulbroen (Coal Bridge) on Aarhus' waterfront. It will be a unique combination of new infrastructure and a recreational urban garden, creating a platform for communities in the city to partake in sports, culture, play and recreation.
The project creates a newly interpreted, positive narrative of the historic coal formations in the Sydhavnskvarteret district. This transforms the former landscape of coal mounds into a green urban space which points towards a climate-friendly future. The building thus supports the area's transformation from an industrial area to a vibrant, social, and sustainable urban area.
Kulhuset in the Sydhavnskvarteret district
Kulhuset in the Sydhavnskvarteret district will be an active, inviting, and sustainable focal point, maintaining the area's special character. The project is part of the new urban plan for the Sydhavnskvarteret district, and creates synergy between existing and future urban spaces, buildings, and users. Through the establishment of a cohesive roof landscape, the surrounding city is physically and visually connected with the waterfront and the historic Kulbroen (Coal Bridge).
“With this collaboration, we are extremely pleased to be able to present a clear vision of how to create a new framework for future ways of solving parking requirements in the dense city, by combining infrastructure with active, social and green urban solutions. The project challenges the classic way of thinking about car parks and addresses what a car park should and can be today. The building offers different and inspiring ways to combine mobility solutions and new sustainable communities in the modern city.” So says Henrik Andersen, partner and architect at Nordland Arkitekter.
With its unique location, where the city meets the harbour, Kulhuset will be a new, unique destination in Aarhus. The proposal incorporates the possibility of many audience-oriented functions, while containing up to 700 parking spaces spread over the building’s area of almost 20,000 m2.
An active and inviting building in the city
At the corners of the site, the building is pulled back to form smaller urban spaces of a diverse nature. This creates a series of spaces which relate to the district's existing connections and ensure activity and life in and around the building. On the ground floor, opportunities are created to develop various outward-looking functions such as food collectives, local entrepreneurship, and exhibition areas. The ability to integrate many different functions and activities ensures versatile use of the building, which makes Kulhuset much more than just a parking garage.
On the roof of Kulhuset, a cohesive experience landscape is established, which creates a new connection between the city and the harbour. Kulhuset's green roof will be the area's new recreational urban garden, which introduces a space for large-scale activities such as concerts, art exhibitions, market days and sports activities. Day to day, the roof offers an exciting walk between kitchen gardens, amphitheatre stages, viewpoints, and exercise areas.
“We see the project playing a crucial part in ensuring the future urban development's physical and visual contact with the water. Our ambition with the project is to create a new, green, and popular meeting place, where building, movement and landscape are connected. Here, the forces of nature, the city, and the harbour unite in a new recreational urban park with magnificent views that can act as a magnet for the Sydhavnskvarteret district in close interaction with Kulbroen (Coal Bridge).” says Thue Borgen Hasløv, architect and associate partner at C.F. Møller Architects.
On the third floor of the building, with a direct connection to the area's historic Kulbroen (Coal Bridge), an elevated urban space will be established, where Kulbroen and Kulhuset meet. This special place creates a direct link for the building's commuters to Aarhus Central Station. At this crossroads on the third floor, the opportunity is created to establish a number of outward-looking functions intended for art and cultural production, urban life, and dining. All of which can open up and invite activity to Kulbroen (Coal Bridge) on a daily basis.
The car park's façade is built according to the design for disassembly sustainability principle. The façade consists of sheeting in recycled materials, and upcycled sheeting from existing buildings, facilities and containers from the nearby harbour areas. The façade panels have a varied expression and an existing patina which blends into the area's diverse and raw expression.
Urgent Agency have acted as consultants on wayfinding and identity-creating elements, and the Institut for (X) have been consultants on activities and integration within the local area.