Architects: MVRDV, COBE
Status: Competition (2011) Project (2011) On going (2014 - 2015) Completed (2015)
Visualizer: Luxigon
Scale: 55.881 ㎡ Large
Types: Cultural, Museum

For any person in the world with an interest in rock music, the word “Roskilde” has an attractive and fascinating sound. The name derives from the ancient Danish city Roskilde, which is the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous and most visited music festivals ‘The Roskilde Festival’. Roskilde is now the place for a new music, art, cultural and creative area to develop. The area is called Musicon and will be home to the new ROCKmagnet.


The Musicon area is situated next to the festival site, and has a long history in Roskilde. Until recently it was used by the Unicon concrete factory. Unicon left the site with a lot of postindustrial buildings and production halls. The clash between the different building styles and architectural tracks makes this area an interesting space for experiments and continuation of the diversity in styles and scales, to support a new creative area. And this is exactly what Musicon wants – to be a new creative city in constant development – here understood as a dynamic growth, transformation, and change – to increase the density and liveliness of the area. In this sense Musicon will be the platform for a maximum range of programs, events and activities that can accommodate all kinds of people and needs – even the once unthinkable and unimaginable.

Contrast = Richness

To create the right environment for creative activities means that there should be a variety of different spaces. The Free Zone shall embrace the contrasts. Openness follows narrow intimate spaces. Larger building volumes and small constructions. Iconic monuments and temporary, informal and improvised environments. Clashes between green landscapes and raw concrete surfaces reinforces the experience of a diverse and contradictory urban environment.

The contrasts in the area includes variations of high and low, private and public, noisy and silent, dark and bright, green and grey. It is crucial to exploit the resources of the existing old halls to create a strong mix of old and new – to create exciting and surprising combinations.

Urban plan – Space for creativity

To promote the contradictions, and to maximize creativity and flexibility, and still ensure an urban quality, different zones are defined. The zones are made to ensure maximum diversity and contrast of spaces, atmospheres and activities and to let the free zone be able to develop in several different directions.

The free plaza

The Free Zone is organized around ‘The Free Plaza’ which connects to Musicon mainstreet called Rabalderstraede. ‘The Free Plaza’ is Musicons arena for temporary activities, spatial experiments and improvised events. It will be an open space for interaction, where all kinds of people can meet, play, work, invent and discover. A forum for temporary elements. The space will be an experimental urban laboratory where temporary structures can be built, new inventions can be tested, noisy activities can be held and 10,000 music lovers can be entertained. The central plaza of Musicon.

The Rockmagneten

The ROCKmagnet consists of three glamorous iconic buildings on top of the rough existing halls of Musicon. Three buildings housing the Danish Rock Museum, The Roskilde Festival Folkschool and the Roskilde Festival Headquarter. Situated as an attraction point on top of the halls overlooking the whole Musicon site, the location allows for the greatest possible interaction between the plaza, the main street and the halls beneath which functions as a communal house.

The halls – Communal house and free zone for creativity

The existing halls are the heart of the Musicon Free zone: The ROCKmagnet’s communal house. It is a small intimate ‘village’ consisting of public program in boxes surrounded by free space. The public program is among others a museum shop, café, auditorium, conference facilities, etc.. The free space in the halls can be used for concerts, events, creative workshops and exhibitions. This is the spirit of the Musicon. The halls will get a dynamic, post-industrial, rough and changing atmosphere according to the life and behavior of the users. The program can be moved around to different functional needs. In summer, the communal house can even un-fold and some of its functions moved outside to the plaza.

Denmarks Rock Museum – The rock experience

The first icon to enter the stage is Denmarks Rock Museum.
The Rock museum is considered not only as a static museum in a box, but as an experience that goes beyond the building’s framework. So introduced are the ideas of limo service, the red carpet, sound lock elevator, and exhibition satellites such as a genuine tour bus on the Free Plaza or a sound island along Rabalderstræde. It is about creating a rock experience that surprises and inspires!

The foyer of the Museum with its red velvet interior invites visitors inside and functions as the main entrance of the communal house and the ROCKmagnet as a whole. The foyer can open up to all four sides and serve as a stage for concerts or performances to a crowd either outside on the Free Plaza or inside in the halls or in the museum café.

Entering to the exhibition through a sound lock elevator that builds up the music from a low beat to a full level rock song brings the visitor up to the big cantilevering glitter box. The glitter box attracts the eye from afar and draws closer, while the inside is an open double high black box, where the main exhibition can take form in many ways and easily change over time.

The Roskilde Festival Folk School

Roskilde Festival Folkschool is the second entry in the rock trio. It is a school for young people with interests in social engagement and the students will play a big role in the Musicon area. The courses runs for 6 month at the time and the students will live at the school, when attending the courses. Therefore the school consists of not only educational facilities, administration and communal functions but also student housing, teacher’s residences and a principal residence.

The school’s communal program is placed in the halls of the communal house. The educational and administrative program is placed as boxes in an adjacent existing hall. The boxes are organized around an open free space with a fireplace and student lounges. Above the two halls is the circular 3-level building of the student houses hovering. Standing on three cores, the bright shining building contains 80 double rooms.

The Roskilde Festival Headquarters

The headquarter of the Roskilde Festival is the third iconic volume to join the ROCKmagnet. It is an office block in shape of a stack of loud speakers with a black rubber facade. Some speakers are real and can be used for concerts on the plaza. The building expressed the identity of the organizations behind the Roskilde Festival.

Green Machine

The ambition is to create a green machine on building level as well as on the urban scale. Based on the smart combination of proven technologies the buildings will act in accordance with the environ-mental vision of Roskilde Festival.

Competition: Rockmagneten | Team: Dan Stubbergaard, Vanessa Miriam Carlow, Thomas Krarup, Eik Bjerregaard, Caroline Nagel, Jens Kert Wagner, Morten Andersen, Morten Engel, Rune Veile, Rasmus Bernhard Nielsen, Guillaume Ros Hoffmann, Tabea Treier, Hiroshi Kato, Agnieszka Krasuska | Collaborator: MVRDV, LIW Planning, Arup London, Wessberg, Transsolar Energietechnik | Engineer: Arup engineering, Wessberg Engineers | Landscape: LIW Planning Landscape Architects | Post date: 08/12/2011 | Views: 7.816