AART architects have transformed an old shipbuilding yard into a captivating cultural centre.
Inspired by the unique site and its captivating history the Culture Yard is designed as a hinge between the past and present, symbolizing Elsinore’s transformation from an old industrial city to a modern cultural hub.
In many years the attention has been aimed at the site adjacent, where the UNESCO World Heritage site, Kronborg Castle, which is famous for its role in Shakespeare's Hamlet, exerts its magnetic pull on both tourists and local citizens of Elsinore – but now Elsinore’s old shipbuilding yard has been transformed into a 13,000 m2 cultural centre, including concert halls, showrooms, conference facilities, a dockyard museum and a public library. The contrast between the past and present permeates the Culture Yard. For instance, the original concrete skeleton with armoured steel has been reinforced, but left exposed as a reference to the site’s industrial past. The historic context has thus been the main structural idea in the design process, ensuring the keen observer will discover a chapter of history in every corner of the yard and every peeling of the wall.
Particularly striking, when viewed from the seafront and Kronborg Castle, is the multifaceted façade. Like a fragmented, yet strongly coherent structure, the enormous glass and steel façade challenges the historic site and stares unflinchingly across the strait that separates Denmark and Sweden. The façade encloses the yard in a distinctive atmosphere, as the dazzling and dramatic play of lines generates a sense of spaciousness. Although the façade is made of hundreds of lines and triangles it appears as one big volume, generating a sense of place and time. The volume also takes the environment into account, as the façade not only functions as an aesthetic architectural feature, but also as a climate shield, reducing the energy demand for cooling and heating of the building.