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Denmark sets an example: Urban Mediaspace Aarhus


The centre of Denmark’s second-largest city, Aarhus, will see the rise of an ultramodern, stylish construction project: Urban Mediaspace Aarhus. The building will be located right by the river, surrounded by the most important buildings in the city centre. The goal is to make it the city’s heart of knowledge and culture – a permanent icon for Aarhus for up to a thousand years!

Urban Mediaspace Aarhus will host the new main library, service premises for citizens, media space, an automatic car park for a thousand cars and three lively waterfront spaces. The media space includes project rooms, study cells, the latest communication equipment, a café, a public living room, training rooms, small mobile workspaces, halls, activity rooms and open, informal spaces where anyone can seek information, inspiration or means of self-development.

The media space and car park should be completed in late 2014, while the waterfront spaces, main library and service premises are scheduled for completion in late 2015. Once it opens, Urban Mediaspace Aarhus is expected to attract approximately 3,500 visitors daily. In planning the spaces and services, special attention has been paid to visually and hearing-impaired people, people in wheelchairs, allergic persons, dyslexics and mentally handicapped people.

The ample staircases in the foyers can be used as an auditorium, enabling theatre shows, readings, lectures and other performances. Families with children will have their own premises, with a play library, children’s theatre and children’s lab. Families can eat in the picnic space and have access to nursing and changing facilities. The colours, graphics and modern technology of the automatic car park have been designed to provide quick and efficient service for visitors with cars. There will be a tram stop right in front of the library.

Thanks to the split floors, vast spaces and large windows, you can see into all floors simultaneously. The roof terrace, inspired by the building’s diverse shape, seems to be floating. The space is complemented by a long, beautiful promenade by the river. You can even wade barefoot in the river by using a ramp descending from the library!

Urban Mediaspace Aarhus strives to take environmental issues into account. All building materials used are natural materials suitable for recycling. The roof will be equipped with solar panels. The water in the river will help keep the building cool in the summer, minimising energy consumption. There will be three impressive tree plantations around the building.

The Harbour Square, which is to be constructed near the library, will provide extensive open space for various games and outdoor activities. The area will feature different surface colours and materials, enabling a variety of activities. It is suitable for ball games, skateboarding, performances, concerts and markets. The Harbour Square can be accessed directly from the river by canoe, kayak or rowing boat.

The project is based on citizens’ service requirements, ideas and wishes. The goal is to make Urban Mediaspace Aarhus a unique place for co-operation between citizens. It is not just a building but a space – a place for opportunities and the exchange of information.


Gross floor space: 28,000 m²
Area for library and citizens’ service: approx. 17,500 m²
Area to let: 10,500 m²
Foyer area: 500 m²
Area for technical rooms, tram stop, etc.: 4,000 m²
Area under the building: 10,500 m²
Parking space for cars: 1,000
Parking space for bicycles: 500



Text: Elisa Helenius

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