‘CEBRA won the architecture competition back in 2011 and after an adjusting phase the proposal just received a substantial DKK 200m / EUR 27m donation from The A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation – bringing the project one large step closer to realization.
The aim of the extensive modernisation is to create a flexible and contemporary framework that provides a congenial spatial setting for Experimentarium’s diverse exhibition and education activities. At the same time, the extension will open Experimentarium up to its surroundings as a cultural centre that offers a wide range of cultural experiences to the nearby neighbourhoods – using the architecture as an active instrument for communication and interaction.
Strong identity and openness
CEBRA’s proposal is based on a collective – both visual and architectural – interpretation of two factors that characterise Experimentarium’s overall activity and physical surroundings: on the one hand the meeting between the human-made and nature – technology and natural science – and on the other hand the historical as foundation for the future. This pas de deux manifests itself in a new and inciting formal language that bursts Experimentarium’s existing bounds and creates a dynamic link to society, both visually and spatially. The building will define itself through a distinctive expression based on its environment and existing buildings.
The functions are organised with great attention to an extensive internal synergy that creates dynamic and active interior, where new constellations and spatial connections continuously emerge while the working environment for the staff is strengthened at the same time. Functions evolve and are added, by which Experimentarium develops its educational and research platforms, making the institution an attractive collaborator for businesses and universities.
The building offers optimal and flexible surroundings for varying exhibitions; diverse areas that can be expanded, reduced or altered without compromising flow and functionality. The result is a new strong image in a high technology and sustainable form, where the architectural expression supports and communicates the future Experimentarium’s mission and content.
The façade as interface
The design and expression of the façades are some of the project’s crucial elements. They serve a double purpose as they both carry out the energy renovation of the existing facades and provide a new and distinctive visual identity to the institution.
In selected spots, large expanses of glass are inserted into to volume’s ‘boxes’ in order to provide views into and out of the building, thus emphasising to architectural dialog with the surrounding urban space by manifesting functions and activities both in the building complex and the city. The staggered boxes ‘push’ them outwards, where a higher degree of external visibility is desired or where views and daylight form the stage for internal experiences.
The boxes are covered in perforated aluminium sheets, which match the need for lighting and transparency of the functions located behind them. By using varying patterns and degrees of perforation, each box obtains an individual expression – despite being covered in the same type of aluminium – and thereby communicates the individual box’ unique content and significance to the project.
In this way the façade expression is based on functional dispositions of the internal sections in combination with deliberate consideration about the institution’s accentuation within the townscape. In order to underline the idea of the future resting on history and with architectural respect for existing building the project creates a formal language, where the boxes’ modern and light appearance rests on the old brick façade’s visual weight; the old bottling plant forms a stable and calm foundation for Experimentarium’s new and dynamic building structure.’