The vision behind the 17.000 sq. m. Culture Yard is to provide settings for a vibrant cultural life and preserve the old shipbuilding yard’s identity and historical value. The idea of enclosing the old shipbuilding yard with a vast glass structure is conceived by AART architects and refined in collaboration with Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers. The idea has resulted in many extraordinary engineering requirements to meet the architectural demands and show regard for the historic buildings.
In order to create a coherent expression and interlink the buildings, AART architects and Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers has developed a sophisticated façade construction of steel, glass and aluminium based on triangles in different geometric expressions where all design elements are designed individually. The characteristic feature of the Culture Yard is, in fact, the transparent façade that enclose the old shipbuilding yard and gives a glimpse of the historic buildings. The façade gives the Culture Yard an intriguing identity where the distinctive steel elements of the construction are used as a reference to the area’s original function as a shipyard.
Furthermore, the façade has an environmentally friendly function, as the south facing parts of the façade is covered with perforated aluminium plates that provide shade during the day. In this way, the perforated aluminium plates ensure a healthy indoor climate and reduce the energy demand for cooling. To avoid the sunlight overheating the light-flooded foyer and glass corridors, AART architects, Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers and the window manufacturer SCHOLLGLAS have also installed approx. 4.700m² of GEWE-therm® sun solar protection glass in various formats.
The Cave and the Pyramid
The Cave and the Pyramid are examples of how the design, function and construction form a whole. The Cave is designed as a hanging auditorium that protrudes 15 meters out of the building above the main entrance, thus providing a dramatic effect and, at the same time, a protective roof above the guests when they arrive at the Culture Yard. The Pyramid protrudes 9 meters out of the eastern building and is an extension of the architectonic lines of the façade. The extension of lines forms a horizontal pyramid shape, resulting in the name the Pyramid. Throughout the project, it has been a major engineering challenge to ensure the bearing capacity and stability of the cantilevered elements without using pillars that reduce the free passageway in the light-flooded foyer and glass corridors.
Regarding the design of the Cave, the problem has been solved by developing and integrating two vast V-shaped steel frames that carry each side of the cantilevered auditorium. One of the steel frames has been particularly complex to design, as it is built into an existing building. Regarding the design of the Pyramid, AART architects and Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers has developed a triangular steel lattice structure that follows the façade’s aesthetic expression. The Pyramid is anchored to the building by a fixed support from a similar construction on the building’s gable.
All the design elements are based on several engineering calculations, and the Culture Yard has throughout the development process been modelled and refined by using advanced 3D engineering and design software. Only in this way, AART architects and Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers have been able to optimise the building and fulfil the original architectural vision without compromising the bearing capacity. The entire building has thus been designed and modelled in 3D, which during the planning process has been essential for the design of the many unique assemblies and components. Furthermore, the highly complex assemblies have been printed on a 3D printer to ensure the best possible basis for the tradesmen to do their job during the construction phase.
Thanks to the daring façade of glass, steel and aluminium, the Culture Yard has been awarded the Structural Award 2011, one of the world’s most prestigious engineering awards. In addition, the Culture Yard has been awarded the Danish Tyndpladegruppens Arkitekturpris 2011.
Location: Elsinore, Denmark Architect: AART architects Project
1st prize in open international architecture competition
13, 000m2 cultural centre in Elsinore in Denmark
Client: Elsinore Municipality
Landscape architect: AART architects
Engineer: Søren Jensen Consulting Engineer
Year: 2006 – 2010
Size: Approx. 13,000m2
Construction costs : DKR 315 million // $ 57 million // € 43 million
The Structural Award 2011 for best community and residential structure
Tyndpladegruppens Arkitekturpris 2011
Photographer: Adam Mørk