‘The master plan for Aalborg Waterfront links the city’s medieval centre with the adjacent fjord, which has previously been difficult for citizens to access due to the industrial harbour and the associated heavy traffic. By tying in with the openings in the urban fabric, a new relationship between city and fjord is created, and what was formerly a back-side is turned into a new, highly attractive front.
The qualities of the approximately one-kilometre stretch of quayside are emphasised with a tree-lined and unusually detailed boulevard to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians. The medieval Aalborg Castle has once again become the harbour’s centrepiece through the establishment of an extensive green area to frame the historic embankments.
At the same time, Aalborg has received a harbour promenade with steps and recessed terraces, allowing people to get close to the water. Various kinds of urban gardens facilitate activities such as markets, ball games and sun-bathing. The aim has been to create robust and attractive spaces to benefit many different users.
The central activities field – a play landscape inviting all age groups to motor-activities –has been designed to accommodate various games and sports, from beach-volley in the summer to ice skating rink in winter, surrounded by dramatically angled netting and lighting masts. A series of Cor-ten steel pavilions contain among other things sports equipment and an ice cream shop.
The materials chosen are as raw as the fjord itself, including asphalt, rubber, Cor-ten steel, concrete and wood, while at the same time containing subtle references to the sea through wavy pavement patterns – an architectural quote of the famous Copacabana beach promenades by Roberto Burle Marx…’