A building as a catalyst for urban life

Aarhus, Denmark
45,000 sqm
Completed 2023
Winning proposal in 2016
Landscape architect
Developer consultant
Turnkey contractor
NCC Danmark
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Byliv og livskvalitet er de helt centrale mål i udviklingen af Nicolinehus, der ligger mellem Aarhus Ø og midtbyen. Med egen markedshal, et bystræde, gårdhaver, restauranter, butikker og boliger kombinerer projektet mange bylivsfunktioner i ét med ambitionen om at skabe et bysamfund, der emmer af liv fra morgen til aften til glæde for både beboere og den omkringliggende by.

From industrialism to urbanism

The history of Aarhus Ø goes all the way back to 1997, when a unanimous city council passed a masterplan for the extension of Aarhus Harbour. The aim of the plan was to transform the empty container harbour into a new and vibrant urban district that could connect the city with the bay. Despite extensive construction and plenty of new residents, Aarhus Ø has been criticised for the absence of urban life that was initially expected to grow. It was therefore the ambition that Nicolinehus would breathe life and quality into Aarhus Ø and thus create a vibrant and attractive urban district.

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Developed with our evidence and impact oriented approach in mind, where we collect documentation for how the build environment strategically can create positive change, Nicolinehus has become a catalyst and a gathering point for the urban life of Aarhus Ø and the people that live there.
Anders Strange / Founding partner and CCO, AART
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Architecture as a catalyst for urban life

With its combination of residential, commercial and an open ground floor with a variety of functions, Nicolinehus shows how to create and attract more people to a new district such as Aarhus Ø. Here, a central market place on the ground floor makes up the foundation of a buzzing and lively business life. With room for more than 15 eateries and cafés as well as a fitness centre and a skybar at the top. All of this combined means that Nicolinehus attracts a large flow of people during both day and evening hours.

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Rethinking the classic residential block

Nicolinehus is inspired by the old brick blocks of Aarhus city centre. Here, the idea of courtyards surrounded by flats has be rethought and adjusted to the life and the environment that exists by the water. Divided into a commercial and residential section that seemingly slopes down towards the marina, Nicolinehus opens up for two courtyards, while the rooftop gardens provide views for the residents and workers. The result is a hybrid of the classic residential block and the terraced landscape, in which functionality and aesthetics merge into a new entity.

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Essensen af den gode boligoplevelse er, at man føler sig hjemme fra dag ét. Drivkraften bag Nicolinehus er derfor at tilbyde boliger, hvor folk trives i en grad, så de får lyst til at bo og leve der resten af deres liv. Vi ved, at parametre som grønne uderum, beliggenhed, støj, lys, udsigt, butiks- og erhvervsliv samt nærhed til kysten er nogle af de ting, som bidrager til by- og boligkvaliteten og dermed til boligværdien. Nicolinehus imødekommer derfor mange af de behov for byggeriets og områdets beboere.
Anders Strange / Founding partner and CCO, AART
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Impacting the quality of life

Essential to creating a thriving urban environment is to create a place where people want to live and settle for a long time. It has thus been a guiding principle to create architecture with unique and functional housing of high quality that supports the good life and uses the unique location to its benefit.

Nicolinehus comprises a total of 243 apartments, with eight of them functioning as town houses. and city. In addition to giving the building a distinct and attractive expression, the terraced structure provides the best views of the city, its forests, and the ocean, and plenty of space to enjoy all kinds of quality of life – whether this is a cup of coffee in the quite morning hours, watering plants, or just watching as the sun disappears behind the bay.

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Our ambition of bringing quality and life to Aarhus Ø has been successful and the interest for Nicolinehus has been overwhelming. I have never seen anything like this in my 20 years of business. All square meters were occupied, all flats sold, way before the building was completed. This great interest in Nicolinehus has been attributed to its location, architecture, quality materials, and variety of urban opportunities
Martin Busk / CEO, Bricks
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Designed to last

Nicolinehus has been developed with a long-term perspective in mind – both in relation to its social, economic, and environmental value creation. It is a building that can withstand being used, and where solid materials such as brick, wood and concrete dominate and, in combination with bright, hanging terraces, help to bring variation to the surrounding urban space. In addition, the red bricks that particularly characterizes the building accommodates both the connection to Aarhus City Centre and the environment of the old industrial port area – a necessary quality if the building is to withstand the harsh port environment for the next 100 years.

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In order to use only the best solutions, the best materials and the best craftsmanship, durability and quality have been thought of in virtually every detail. These are materials that can withstand being so close to the water, but are simultaneously beautiful, wet as dry. It is solid and robust and in line with old Danish building traditions
Anders Strange / Founding partner and CCO, AART
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Vil du vide mere?

Anders Strange
Stiftende partner / CCO / Arkitekt MAA
+45 25 32 32 76