Moesgaard Museum

Henning Larsen Architects

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Henning Larsen Architects is an international architecture company with strong Scandinavian roots.

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Architecture, nature, culture and history fuse together into a total experience at Moesgaard Museum. With its green roof, bright courtyard gardens, and underground terraces, the museum will invite various new and alternative kinds of exhibitions.

The new 16,000 m2 museum is uniquely located in the hilly landscape of Skåde south of Aarhus. With its sloping roofscape of green grass the building appears as a powerful visual landmark perceptible even from the sea. As a new hill amongst the old, the roof blurs the distinction between building and landscape, offering visitors a new area from which to appreciate the museum’s rural surroundings.

The museum acts as a public space for non-paying visitors too; in the summer, the angular projection will host a range of outdoor activities, such as picnics and lectures. During the winter months, the museum roof will transform into one of Denmark’s most exceptional sledding hills.

The overall sustainable strategy has been integrated in the architectural design. Fundamental elements such as the building’s geometry and orientation have been considered in order to maximise every square meter. The south-facing roof surface (roof facade) forms the calculated basis for an energy-efficient building, which achieves Energy Class 1 status.

The green roof of the museum contributes to decreasing the energy consumption of the building. The roof reduces the overall need for cooling due to decreased heat absorption. Furthermore, the overall amount of wastewater draining from the site is reduced.

The roof slopes downwards to the south, protecting the objects on display from direct sunlight. Connected to each exhibition room, a glass-enclosed area functions as a break room – allowing visitors to enter, but preventing direct sunlight from reaching the objects on display. In these spaces, visitors can have a bright respite from the dark of the exhibition spaces and reorient to nature and sunlight.

An optimal use of daylight in the remaining part of the museum has reduced the need for artificial lighting, decreasing overall energy consumption. Around the administrative and educational facilities-which are placed in the rising end of the building- small yards in the building volume has been placed allowing the daylight to penetrate the roof.

The materials of the building harmonise with the overall expression of the building and at the same time consider acoustics, economy, technical settings, maintenance, durability, colour options and sustainability.

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Henning Larsen Architects
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