The Iceberg
Julien Lanoo

The Iceberg

JDS Architects as Architects

The Aarhus Harbour development provides a huge opportunity for Denmark’s second largest city to develop in a socially sustainable way by renovating its old, out-of-use container terminal. The area is meant to become a living city quarter, comprised of a multitude of cultural and social activities, a generous amount of workplaces, and of course, a highly mixed and diverse array of housing types. The Iceberg Project seeks to locate itself within the goals of the overall city development.

 

A third of the project’s 200 apartments will be set aside as affordable rental housing, aimed at integrating a diverse social profile into the new neighborhood development. The project’s main obstacle is the density set up for the development, the desired square meters are in conflict with the specified site height restrictions and the overall intentions of providing ocean views along with good daylight conditions. The Iceberg negotiates this problematic, by remaining far below the maximum heights at points and emerging above the dotted line at other moments. “Peaks” and “canyons” form; eliciting the project’s iconic strength while ensuring that all flats will be supplied with a generous amount of natural lighting and waterfront views.


“With the Iceberg we get unique housing qualities as well as a city architectural expression of the highest quality”, says Kent Martinussen, adm. dir. of DAC (Danish Architecture Centre).


“Århus will get a fantastic harbour front with unique architectural buildings that both in appearance and functionality prove that we are a city of grand ambitions. Our desire for this area goes beyond just a façade without life and purpose. We want a living city where everybody thrives. Both those who live and those who work in this “City near the harbour / De Bynære Havnearealer”. Projects of this calibre are a big step towards this goal.”

Isbjerget, Aarhus, Denmark

SeARCH as Architects

Isbjerget (Iceberg) is located on a stunning site on the waterfront of Aarhus. In order to take advantage of the spectacular views across the bay and maximize natural light, the design team reshaped the master plan that consisted of closed blocks, into four L-shaped wings, opening up views between the volumes and to the water. The serrated roof allows daylight deep into the building. To achieve optimal views from the apartments to the sea, the building has been cut in a crisscross manner, taking its inspiration from floating icebergs in continual motion. At 7 or 8 stories and 21,500 m2 Isbjerget houses 155 one or two story apartments of 66m2 to 248 m2 and commercial space on the ground floor. The varied building shapes are used to create a series of apartment types. At ground level a number of 2 story townhouses are integrated into the volume. Penthouse apartments are located within the stunning peaks of the building. A mix of apartments with differing balconies, shapes and orientations ensure an urban living environment with social diversity. Isbjerget was designed in collaboration with JDS, CEBRA and Louis Paillard after winning a limited design competition. The project was awarded the highly prestigious 2013 MIPIM Award for Best Residential Development as well as an Architizer A+ Award.

The Iceberg

CEBRA as Architects

The Iceberg is located at a prime location on the outmost harbour front in Aarhus’ new quarter Aarhus Ø (Aarhus East) and consists of 208 apartments. The Iceberg will contribute to transform the former container port of Aarhus into a vibrant new neighbourhood that on completion will be home to 7,000 inhabitants and provide 12,000 workplaces.


The Iceberg is laid out as four L-shaped wings, where the street spaces in between open towards the water. In order to obtain optimal daylight conditions and views over the bay for as many apartments as possible the building volume is cut up by jagged lines. The roofs rise and fall into peaks and valleys, which create visual passages that allow views across the individual volumes – like floating icebergs that constantly refract one’s gaze. Thus, even the apartments in the back wing can enjoy the view. By applying this simple algorithm to the design the spectacular iceberg structure emerged.


The varying building volumes make it possible to arrange a wide range of different apartment types within the complex – from two-storey ‘town houses’ and affordable smaller apartments to exclusive penthouses in the peaks of The Iceberg. The variety of residences with different balconies, shapes and orientations as well as the combination of owner-occupied and rented flats aim at creating socially diverse urban surroundings that form a lively local community: The building complex becomes a neighbourhood instead of a mere series of housing blocks.


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