Danish Light*house

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A collaboration between the Dutch UNStudio and Danish 3XN [along with Gehl Architects], the ‘Danish Lighthouse’ is the winning entry to a competition for a new Aarhus Harbor front.

Aarhus will have the most unique harbor front in Denmark with innovative architecture created especially for this place and for this city. The constructions will provide Aarhus with a spectacular and beautiful face towards the Bay of Aarhus and at the same time be safe and pleasant to live in and to be in [Kim Herforth Nielson, from 3XN].

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The new harbor-front will create a new residential/mixed use community, with cafes, restaurants, and public squares/parks – all accessed exclusively via pedestrian routes, as no cars enter the site. Instead, there is an underground parking facility for visitors & residents. It is the hope of the designers that the lack of car traffic will increase pedestrian and bike traffic on the site, drawing the city towards the water.

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The design is centered on a large public park on the water – surrounded by what appear to be 5-8 story [mostly residential] structures. At the end of the site, on the waterfront, is a 140 meter tall tower [also residential]. The housing itself is set to be mixed income – providing both rental units and units to own, as well as non profit rentals. The units will supposedly be the same, or at least constructed in the same manner, creating a much more socially diverse community than one would expect to find in such a development [you've got to love Socialism in architecture].

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Construction on the project is scheduled to begin at the beginning of 2008, with the first of the residences being completed sometime in 2010. In an attempt to have the smallest impact possible on Aarhus itself, the current proposal suggests constructing the project from the harbor, rather than from the main land – from the demolition of the existing buildings and quays to the construction of the new development.

In addition, the project is described as utilizing the most current sustainable building practices/technologies, and adhering to the newest energy standards/regulations. While vague as a description of the role sustainability plays in the project, it seems to speak to the importance of these new technologies in the eyes of the architects & builders – using the newest, ‘greenest’, technologies in construction is important, but does not define the project.

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View this video of the project at 3XN’s website.

More UNStudio and 3XN on architecture.mnp

::all images from WAN & 3XN::

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