MVRDV shines in Denmark

Nick Myall
Friday 29 Apr 2016

This golden studded building features a colossal cantilever and houses a museum experience, an auditorium, administrative facilities and a bar

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark has opened Ragnarock, MVRDV and COBE’s new rock music museum in Roskilde, Denmark. The museum, with its striking gold studded façade and daring cantilevered auditorium, has opened its doors to offer visitors a fully immersive rock experience. The 3.100 sq m Ragnarock acts as the gateway, and flagship building, for a larger 11.000 sq m regeneration of the existing cement factories which will later be transformed into a district of rock music.

Ragnarock, MVRDV and COBE’s museum of pop, rock and youth culture in Roskilde, Denmark, stands as an architectural embodiment of rock music which hopes to inspire a new generation of musicians, artists and creative professionals. The 3.100 sq m building, complete with colossal cantilever, houses the main museum experience which also includes an auditorium, administrative facilities and a bar. The golden studded building stands as the front-man in a larger 11.000 sq m masterplan, ROCKmagneten, which looks to transform the existing cement factories on the site into a district for rock music and youth culture whilst adding three new buildings, the completed Ragnarock, a new Danish højskole and the headquarters for the Roskilde Rock Festival.

Ragnarock, designed for the Danmarks Rockmuseum, aims to touch the existing site as lightly as possible with the intention to preserve the raw and informal character of the site which has been, and still is, used by skaters and artists alike. The new structure plugs into the factories, standing on four legs which take visitors up into the museum and auditorium above. A clear divide, identified by a separation in materials, distinguishes the old and the new; raw concrete in contrast with vivid red studs. The combination of materials radiate a rock-like atmosphere; from the golden anodised aluminium studded façade which pays homage to lead singers throughout rock history, to the vivid red interior, reminiscent of a guitar case’s soft velvet inside.

“Ragnarock is the translation of rock music into architecture; the energy, the defiance, the statement. Loud and in your face!” says MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs, “It’s not just the looks though. The relationship between Ragnarock and the original halls creates spaces that will breed a new generation of rock stars in a hugely creative environment.”

The experience throughout the building takes visitors on a journey into the life of a rock star, combining traditional museum with immersive exhibitions. The red carpet welcome, the rise to fame up to the performance space which hangs daringly in the air, and the inevitable fall down to the bar. “Walking towards the golden building over the red carpet will turn each visitor into a star,” Jacob van Rijs explains about the approach to the museum. Ragnarock itself also becomes a stage; performances can either face the large public plaza on one side, or the refurbished industrial halls on the other. The golden overhang defies gravity in a true rock and roll style and welcomes visitors not only into the museum, but also in the future will act as the entrance into the larger ROCKmagneten masterplan. 

MVRDV and COBE won the international competition for ROCKmagneten and Ragnarock in 2011 and have since worked with: Landscape architects, LIW Planning; engineers and consultants, Arup, Transsolar, Wessberg, Dansk Brand Institut and Nordconsult; as well as exhibition designers Kossmann de Jong.

Nick Myall

News Editor

Key Facts:


Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team