The Culture Yard

With more than 750,000 visitors a year, the Culture Yard is a popular success. Not only has it revitalised the waterfront of the city of Elsinore. It has also created new opportunities for the development of Elsinore as a modern, cultural city.
As a pivot for Kulturhavn Kronborg, the Culture Yard ('Kulturværftet' in Danish) has created a new gathering place in Elsinore and put the city on the cultural world map - proclaimed by the New York Times as one of the world’s must-see places. It is one of Denmark’s most publicised cultural centres and has attracted major cultural events such as the Crown Prince Couple’s Awards and the Index Award, the most important design award in the world. Additionally, it contains one of Denmark’s most widely used libraries. It is one of only two libraries in Europe to be described as “exceptional” – the highest recommendation given by Library Ranking Europe.
All this was made possible by transforming the city’s historic shipyard into a cultural centre with a café, library, exhibition space, concert halls and much more besides. On the shoulders of the past, it paves the way for the evolution of Elsinore from industrial city to cultural city – in the heart of what is perhaps Denmark’s most historic harbour with a view of Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle and the Øresund strait. The Culture Yard unites the historic spirit of the port’s shipyard with modern cultural experiences, so visitors sense the presence of history in the encounter between past and present.
With a new glass arcade, the Culture Yard comes across as an iconic, inviting cultural centre, the arcade enclosing the old shipyard buildings and connecting the many cultural activities. With its sail-inspired, crystalline shapes, the arcade adds a modern edge and character to the Culture Yard, at the same time reflecting the historic harbour. The diverse shapes mean that Kronborg Castle and the Øresund strait are constantly being framed in new ways, thereby becoming the building’s visual and historic focus. To the south, the arcade is also clad with thin perforated panels to create a cultural centre that is adapted to the local climate.

The Culture Yard has made a real impact. The strategy was that people should stop thinking only about Copenhagen, but bear us in mind too. Now people are aware that we are here.
Michael Foch / Director of the Culture Yard