Climatorium

In the Danish town of Lemvig, the consequences of climate change can be felt right outside the front door. The town has been flooded by multiple storm surges over the years, and its magnificent location on the shores of Limfjorden is not without its challenges.

In 2013, the ‘Bodil’ storm hit the area and sent huge volumes of water into the harbour, resulting in major damage. This led to the construction in 2015 of a 350-metre-long concrete wall, ‘Le Mur’, which curves along the entire waterfront. The wall has steel gates that can be closed at extreme tides or when a storm surge is imminent. It keeps the water out and is also designed to serve as a recreational element in the cityscape.

Siting Climatorium in Lemvig was therefore a natural choice. The new climate centre on the harbourfront is a knowledge, research and learning centre for coastal challenges, in a design inspired by the surrounding landscape.

A dark landmark on the harbourfront

Seen from a distance, the Climatorium is a slightly anonymous box-shaped building reminiscent of any old warehouse on the harbour. The closer you get to the place, the more details emerge and the more the building appears to open up. The choice of materials was inspired by the nearby boat halls, and a raw, rustic look has been created using wooden, concrete and steel elements that resonate with the local surroundings.

The glass façade on the ground floor makes the structure transparent and invites passers-by to take a look at the activities inside. To the south, a large wave motif – the ‘Climate Wedge’ – is incorporated into the façade in light-toned wood. This ingenious design is so beautiful that visitors immediately feel like taking a seat on the undulating benches that emerge from the shape. They offer views of the cove and the skate park, which is the nearest neighbour.

A diverse interior

The excellent interior layout is characterised by considerable variation in the function, size and ceiling height of the rooms. The entire ground floor is taken up by a U-shaped, cohesive activity and exhibition area. An open auditorium/multi-purpose room can be used to host activities and workshops. Within, the wave-shaped façade brings associations to wooden ships and the landscape around the fjord. At the same time, it is an elongated sculpture that can be experienced from many different angles in the building.

The first floor is comprised mainly of office areas with various meeting facilities and an adjoining canteen. The structure is home to the Municipality of Lemvig, Lemvig Water & Wastewater and the Climatorium Association.

In many of the rooms, Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed in sections on the walls. They are either grouped in birch veneer frames or fill the entire wall surfaces, such as in the glass-covered meeting facilities. They are thus incorporated as harmonious elements of the simple architectural whole with classic Nordic virtues.

Facts

Project:
Climatorium is one of the lighthouse projects in the Central Denmark Region’s ‘Coast to Coast Climate Challenge’. A similar sister project is to be built in the town of Nelson in New Zealand.
Architects:
3XN
Client:
Lemvig Municipality, Lemvig Water & Wastewater
Troldtekt products
Wall panels:
Troldtekt and Troldtekt Plus acoustic panels
Colour:
Natural wood
Structure:
Extreme fine (0.5 mm wood wool), ultrafine (1.0 mm wood wool)
Edge design:
Square edge and groove, K0-N, Square edge, K0
Installation:
With KN brackets and Troldtekt structure screws
Text & photos
Text:
Thomas Mølvig, architect
Photos:
Thomas Mølvig, architect

Awards

Climatorium has received the Danish award ‘Building of the Year 2020’ in the category Business.