900 new workspaces in the middle of Gellerup

These days, the neighbourhood Gellerup in the Danish city of Aarhus is seeing a massive transformation of the whole area, which in many parts of Denmark is known as a problematic neighbourhood. One of the first marked steps in the process was that the City of Aarhus wanted to move workplaces to Gellerup and establish a new attractive meeting place.
  • Aarhus Kommune
  • A. Enggaard
    OPS operator
  • Caverion
  • Niras
  • Hauxner
    City strategic advisor
  • Location
    Edwin Rahrs Vej, Brabrand
  • Year
    2015 - 2018
  • Size
    23,000 m² + 12,500 m² parking
  • Architect
  • Landscape
Arkitema Blixens Photo10 Photographer Niels Nygaard web

To that end, Blixens belongs to a very special type of office building. Not only is it a local workplace for some 1,000 people: It is also a new meeting place for the whole neighbourhood.

The house is designed as a roofed urban open space with many entrances – a building which is a natural part of the city and used and visited by local citizens. We designed an inclusive building where everybody is welcome and where architecture aspires to break down barriers between citizens and local government employees. In addition, the building is located in the centre of the area, addressing the whole of Gellerup Parken and opening the area up to the rest of the city.

Arkitema Blixens Photo16 Photographer Niels Nygaard web
Here, used bricks and different types of recycled timber are mixed.

The entire ground floor welcomes visitors with urban and extrovert functions such as a café, a restaurant, working workshops and a coffee-roasting business, and as a visitor, you can go from the ground floor further up to the public roof terrace. Across the atrium, walkways join the floors and contribute to varying levels and room heights. The roof terrace offers a panoramic view of the whole area, the entire city and all the way to Aarhus Bay.

Arkitema Blixens Photo14 Photographer Niels Nygaard web
Arkitema Blixens Photo17 Photographer Niels Nygaard web

The building being an atypical office building is stressed by the choice of materials, as the interior is characterised by many different materials. Here, used bricks and different types of recycled timber are mixed and each of the five atrium buildings, which are situated around a sixth atrium, are characterised by their distinctive material. In this way, the building is divided into areas, and staff and visitors experience a sense of belonging and recognisability.

The project was developed in dialogue with selected users, who left their mark on how we established the urban life environment and created openness and life in the building. At the same time, we worked closely together with the City of Aarhus's project management during the development of the project.

Arkitema Blixens Photo11 Photographer Niels Nygaard web
Arkitema Blixens 20 Photo Niels Nygaard
Arkitema Blixens 06 Photo Niels Nygaard
Arkitema Blixens Photographer Helene Hoyer Reality slider
Arkitema Blixens Render slider
Arkitema Blixens Photo03 Photographer Niels Nygaard web