The Iceberg is located at a prime location on the outmost harbour front in Aarhus’ new quarter Aarhus Ø (Aarhus East) and consists of 208 apartments. Like many other worn-out industrial harbour areas, the former container port of Aarhus is being transformed into a vibrant new neighbourhood.
The Iceberg is among the first projects to be finished in an area that on completion will be home to 7,000 inhabitants and provide 12,000 workplaces. Its total site area of 800,000 m2 makes it one of Europe’s largest harbour front city developments. The inspiration for the Iceberg originated primarily from the site’s extraordinary location with spectacular views over the Aarhus Bay. Thus, the seemingly simple task was to maximize views and sunlight conditions for every single apartment and at the same time respect the inland urban context.
Instead of following the master plan, which was dominated by closed building blocks, the Iceberg is laid out as four L-shaped wings, where the street spaces in between open towards the water. In order to obtain optimal daylight conditions and views over the bay, the building volumes are cut up by jagged lines.
The roofs rise and fall into peaks and valleys, which create visual passages across the individual volumes – like floating icebergs that constantly refract one’s gaze. Thus, even the back wing’s residents can enjoy the view. The principle of dividing each building into tops and valleys contributes to adapt the scale of the buildings to the surroundings and the interior spaces. Instead of being considered as a block turning inwards the complex be experienced as an open structure, creating more architectural appeal. In selected areas the structure of the building is pressed down towards street level to create a harbour oriented character and scale. In other areas the structure is pulled upwards to create more urban qualities. City and harbour meet in one common idiom. The varying and spectacular forms that derive from this simple algorithm make it possible to fit a varied range outer geometry changes upwards through the building and consequently also from one apartment to the next, ranging from two-storey ‘town houses’ and affordable smaller flats to exclusive penthouses in the peaks.
The variety of residences with different balconies, shapes and orientations as well as the combination of owner-occupied and rented flats aim at creating socially diverse urban surroundings that form a lively local community: the building complex becomes a neighbourhood instead of a mere series of housing blocks.Location: Mariane Thomsens Gade, Aarhus, Denmark Architects: CEBRA | JDS, SeARCH, Louis Paillard
Collaboration: NCC, Tækker R.I., Hamiconsult Commission: Private
Client: PensionDanmark Year: 2008 – 2013
Purpose: 208 apartments
Size: 22.000 m²
Awards: MIPIM Award 2013,
Architizer A+ Award 2013
Services: Architectural services incl. landscape