Refined visitor centre for Hammershus with accessible roof designed by Arkitema
Arkitema has been announced as the winner of a competition to design a modern visitor centre at one of Denmark’s most important ancient monuments. The successful team also includes engineers Buro Happold and Professor Christopher Harlang. Deemed ‘discreet’ by Arkitema, the design is pared back to draw attention to the attraction itself - the largest medieval fortification in Northern Europe (Hammershus). The 45 million DKK visitor centre will include an exhibition, a café and educational rooms to serve approximately 500,000 annual visitors.
"Our proposal subordinates to the nature and allows Hammershus to be the main attraction. At the same time we exploit the location to create full focus on Hammershus from the visitor centre. From the ruin the new visitor centre will appear as a contribution to the landscape - an integrated part of nature. A worthy addition," says partner and architect at Arkitema, Poul Schülein.
More specifically the roof of the building is incorporated into the terrain, where it continues the public footpaths in the area. In this way it establishes a scenic platform with a stunning view to the ruin. The roof establishes a public space, which gives something back to the place by being available to the visitors both summer and winter, day and night. The practical functions in the house are placed towards the cliff and the house opens up on the opposite side with large windows facing the stunning view of Hammershus, the landscape and the sea.
"We have designed a simple house with an elongated shape that is carefully sited in the terrain, and where the roof is an important factor. At the same time the materials used in the house are taken from the surroundings - simple wooden materials and concrete. The concrete consists of rock-granulate from the cliff that we dig out to make room for the building. We have designed a building that in its form and materials upholds and stages its historical context,” Poul Schülein concludes.