Sønderborg Multicultural House

Connecting the past with the future

Sønderborg, Denmark
Sønderborg Municipality
5,500 m2
Completed in 2017
Winning proposal in project competition in 2015
Zeni Arkitekter
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Sønderborg Multicultural House (in Danish 'Sønderborg Multikulturhus') connects the past with the future, the city with the water and culture with learning. It highlights the development of Sønderborg's waterfront by bringing together several of the city's cultural institutions (including Sønderborg Library and Southern Jutland’s Art School) and transforms the former industrial harbour into a recreational part of the city.

The cultural centre is an important part of the realisation of Frank Gehry's master plan for Sønderborg's waterfront. With its close proximity to both the waterfront and the historic city centre, the building inscribes itself within a particular context. It thus directs itself 360 degrees towards the city and harbour, while engaging with the surrounding buildings – particularly the old Ewer’s Warehouse, which has been preserved and integrated as a natural part of the cultural centre and its many internal functions.

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As a counterbalance to the many internal functions, the cultural centre is based on a simple and clear concept. It is based on one single unit that rotates on its own axis. The unit’s rotation allows for a dynamic, sculptural design that opens up the cultural centre from several angles, working as a cog in Frank Gehry's master plan for the waterfront.

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This house is a hit! Here come people who can tell their children that grandpa worked in the old warehouse. Here the past meets the future, and it all makes sense.
Librarian / Sønderborg Library
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The surroundings have been highly influential in shaping the cultural centre. This applies not least to Ewer’s Warehouse, which is, as previously mentioned, integrated as a natural part of the cultural centre. The old warehouse and the new part of the cultural centre harmonise in terms of material and scale, while a transparent middle building links the two elements as a single social and functional unit.

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Want to know more?

Mikkel Seier Christoffersen
Associeret partner / Faglig leder AART Transformation / Konstruktør / Arkitekt MAA
+45 25 59 55 29