Open design competition launched for new buildings for Aarhus School of Architecture

Today The Danish Building & Property Agency has, in cooperation with Aarhus School of Architecture, launched an open, international design competition for a new school of architecture in Aarhus. Participants in the competition will also be required to submit their proposals for a comprehensive, well-considered plan for Godsbanearealerne.

16.12.2015

Aarhus School of Architecture will be moving from its old premises at Nørreport to Godsbanearealerne - the city's new creative centre. But first buildings for the new school will have to be constructed: today at 12 (noon) The Danish Building & Property Agency publicly announced an open design competition for a new school of architecture. The open design competition should also result in proposals for a mini master plan for Godsbanearealerne.

You will find the competition programme and other relevant material at www.newaarch.dk  

The deadline for submission of proposals is 1 February 2016 at 4 p.m.

From idea to programming

Aarhus School of Architecture expects much from the open design competition. The best ideas from the competition will provide the basis for preparing the subsequent project competition and thus for designing the future school of architecture.

"It's not every day a school of architecture is built from scratch, and as a tribute to the architectural profession we will take the opportunity offered by the design competition to get the proposals of the industry for rethinking the school's physical setting. We will not pretend to be all knowing and define a wide range of requirements for the project. On the contrary, we are curious and open to new ways of thinking when it comes to designing the school," says Torben Nielsen, rector of Aarhus School of Architecture

A return to the old virtues

The competition programme is open and calls for proposals with a low level of detail.

"We would like to return to the old virtues with an open design competition that focuses on the simple, clear idea. We are very confident this will result in exciting ideas that we can develop further in the programming process”, says Lisa Sørensen, project manager, The Danish Building & Property Agency

The Danish Building & Property Agency and Aarhus School of Architecture have produced a special template which will allow the participants in the open design competition to present their ideas on one single A0 board. The template, along with the competition programme, encourages working on a diagrammatic and conceptual level, focusing precisely on the good idea.

Developing Godsbanearealerne

The move to Godsbanearealerne will allow Aarhus School of Architecture to influence the development of the urban district. Aarhus Municipality has set aside an area four times as large as the required site for a new school. This area will be part of the open design competition, allowing the municipality and Aarhus School of Architecture to benefit from the participants' ideas for a comprehensive and well-considered plan for Godsbanearealerne - and for how the future school of architecture can in the best possible way be integrated in what we hope will become a creative, urban and dynamic environment with cafes, homes and public institutions.

"Godsbanearealerne in the heart of Aarhus is the city's new creative urban district, a district that will be developed in an unconventional way. Having a new school of architecture located in the area will be perfect in relation to the vision of an urban district characterised by diversity. At Aarhus Municipality we hope the Aarhus School of Architecture will, due to its physical expression and its function, involve its surroundings and the city, creating much popular interest in and an insight into the importance of aesthetics, architecture and urban development ", says Eric Jespersen, head of Teknik og Miljø - the department for technology and environment of Aarhus Municipality.

Aarhus Municipality is involved in the project in many different ways. In addition to lengthy initial discussions with The Danish Building & Property Agency and Aarhus School of Architecture, the municipality has contributed to drawing up the competition programme. After the open design competition the municipality intends to continue discussions with The Danish Building & Property Agency and Aarhus School of Architecture on the further development of Godsbanearealerne and the context the school will form part of. Erik Jespersen, head of Aarhus Municipality’s department for technology and environment (Teknik og Miljø), and City Architect Stephen Willacy will also be advising the jury in choosing the three winners of the open design competition. 

The Open design competition is funded by Aarhus School of Architecture and Realdania.

An open call

The Danish Building & Property Agency and Aarhus School of Architecture hope for the commitment of the entire industry and encourage all architects, including the larger, established architectural firms that were not chosen during the pre-qualification and students of architecture (at MA level) to contribute their ideas. In the project competition the winners of the open design competition will compete with the three teams that have already been pre-qualified: BIG, Lacaton &Vassal and Sanaa.

"Our dream is a new school that resonates internationally and shows what architecture can do. The framework and the economy are modest, but we hope precisely this challenge will help us get a raw and robust school in which concept and idea have been reduced to the bare essentials", Torben Nielsen concludes.

Contact

Lisa Sørensen, project manager, The Danish Building & Property Agency, (+45) 4170 1014, lis@bygst.dk

Torben Nielsen, rector, Aarhus School of Architecture, (+45) 8936 0200 / torben.nielsen@aarch.dk