Dante’s plads is surrounded by historically important buildings in Copenhagen. Across the HC. Andersen boulevard in the south one finds the art museum, Carlsbergs Glyptotek. Along Ny Vestergade in the north the national museum is situated and at the end of this axis that connects with Dante’s plads lies the Castle of Christiansborg with its characteristic tower.
Our proposal for the new auditorium and exhibition hall in Copenhagen presents a strong architectural presence. Its footprint at the site is reduced to a minimum by stacking the main programmatic functions, exhibition hall and auditorium. By pushing the volume to the far end of the site we create a strong relationship with the HC. Andersen Boulevard and in return makes space for a generous public plaza northwest of the building that becomes a natural extension of the Ny Vestergade, the axis to the Christiansborg Castel.
The building consists of three elements. The envelope, the tube and the stair.
The envelope is an in situ concrete façade, tinted in a red color that resembles the palette of the surrounding buildings. The East and West facades are monolithic while the north and south façades are transparent. The pattern of columns mirrors the Gyptotek façade along the HC. Andersen Boulevard and tweaks the classic architectural element. The height and pattern of the columns gives the building a light character despite its heavy material.
The tube is the main element in the building. Its shape together with the square envelope defines the spatial areas inside the building, a continuous room sequence that varies only in height between the two floors. The outside of the tube is also presented as an in situ concrete surface. The finish varies between the floor, wall and ceiling. If the outside of the tube is hard and rough in its texture the inside is the opposite. On the entrance floor the exhibition hall is a space covered in oak wood. A translucent ceiling covers the circular shape and gives the room an almost abstract character. On the second floor, on top of the exhibition hall the heart of the building is situated, the auditorium. The experience of the auditorium is unexpected. By arranging the seating in a circular pattern and centering the stage we have created an extremely compact and intimate space for performances. The ceiling dome gives the space a soft appearance. Like the exhibition space it is covered entirely in oak wood.
The stair is hidden behind the tubes exterior and the warm wooden interiors of the exhibition hall and auditorium. It is a continuous path that circles around the tube all the way up to the roof top. The stair becomes the main circulation hidden from both the outside and inside. The roof top is conceived as an outdoor amphie theater that follows the shape of the tube. A floating concrete roof defines its boundaries.