Celebrity architect Bjarke Ingels has big things in store for Denmark’s second city.
Ingels this week presented his plans for a renovation of Aarhus’s waterfront. Working with Gehl Architects and Aarhus Council, the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) will convert part of the city’s waterfront known as Bassin 7 into a focal point for the city.
Plans for the area include a new swimming area, a theatre, a kayak harbour and a winding thoroughfare over both land and water.
The city’s mayor, Jacob Bundsgaard, said the project has huge potential.
“It can be difficult to maintain pessimism and hide the excitement,” Bundsgaard said at a press conference announcing the plans.
“The plan places urban life activities front and centre and places them in an optimal location in regards to the wind and sun and assembles them in an attractive harbour location. It creates the ultimate framework for city life,” the mayor added in a press release.
Ingels said the project, which will be his first in Aarhus, will build upon “the urban atmosphere that Aarhus is the standard bearer for”.
“Aarhus is a unique city in that it has a very dense city centre that combines closeness and intimacy with a height of both buildings and the landscape that you don’t see in other places in Denmark – and all of this right next to a huge central development area in Aarhus bay,” he said.
BIG’s reworking of the waterfront specifically calls for 20,000 sqm of new housing, a 1,000 sqm theatre and a combined 2,000 sqm of restaurants, galleries and cafes.
The work is scheduled to get underway in 2015 and be completed by 2017.