Naturkraft in Ringkøbing

Just outside the town of Ringkøbing in western Jutland, a large circular experience park has been established. The name of the park is Naturkraft – the power of nature. The park is encircled by a 630-metre-long rampart, culminating to the west at a height of 15 metres, where an almost futuristic building blends in with the shape of the fortification-like architecture.

The impressive vision has been realised with the Municipality of Ringkøbing-Skjern and a number of large Danish foundations as the main contributors of funding. In fact, the size of the new centre far exceeds that of both Trelleborg and Fyrkat, the old Viking ring fortresses. However, the purpose of the Naturkraft centre is as peaceful as can be, namely to disseminate knowledge about the forces of nature at play on the west coast of Denmark. The exhibitions also touch upon the topics of cultural history, sustainability and the climate.

Access is via a gate in the rampart, from where visitors can easily gain an overview of most of the area, a kind of natural arena covering 5 hectares. A path runs all the way around the top of the rampart, offering stunning views of the flat landscape around the inlet Ringkøbing Fjord.

Three metallic domes

The centre building is an impressive white-painted steel structure covered by an unconventional climate screen. The roof consists of a transparent EFTE membrane, known, for example, from MCH Herning Exhibition Centre and the Botanical Gardens in Aarhus. Air is blown into the space between the layers to achieve a thermo-insulating effect, while screening has been integrated to shield against the rays of the sun.

The interiors are stunningly simple. A staggered arrangement of three large dome-shaped ‘spheres’ creates an interesting spatial effect. The domes contain black-box exhibition spaces, while the first floor has both a café area and an exhibition. Much attention has been devoted to the details and the use of natural light in the high-ceilinged and expansive space.

Suspended floating acoustic clouds with integrated lighting

The administration, comprising offices and meeting rooms, is situated on the ground floor. Here you get a strong sense of the way in which the building has been integrated into the huge rampart. The oblique transparent plastic facade adds a distinct look and atmosphere.

In both the meeting rooms and the offices, floating acoustic clouds from Troldtekt have been installed in the colour natural wood. They serve both to soften the impression of the raw concrete ceilings with their exposed installations and to ensure superior acoustics. Without noise reduction, the hard surfaces of the walls, floors and ceilings would make the rooms unsuitable for working in.

In the open-plan office, the 12 work stations are situated close together, and the concrete elements appear raw. Here, the floating acoustic clouds have been supplemented with integrated lighting accentuating the linearity of the rectangular panels.

The cloakrooms and toilets in the exhibition building are acoustically regulated by means of beautiful classic Troldtekt panels.

Facts

Project:
Naturkraft is a modern nature centre with a special focus on western Jutland. The centre is situated just outside the town of Ringkøbing, Denmark.
Architects:
Thøgersen & Stouby Architect, project planning Hune & Elkjær
Client:
Komitéen for etableringen af Naturkraft
Troldtekt products
Ceiling panels:
Troldtekt and Troldtekt Plus acoustic panels
Colour:
Natural wood
Structure:
Ultrafine (1.0 mm wood wool)
Edge design:
5 mm bevelled edges, K5
Installation:
With Troldtekt structure screws
Text & photos
Text:
Thomas Mølvig, architect
Photos:
Thomas Mølvig, architect