Self-contained and created for the community

In Viby on Zealand, the cultural centre Cosmos has been built on the site of a former cooperative dairy in the centre of town.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

Kulturhus Cosmos is harmoniously proportioned to match its surroundings, consisting of three joined sections with a zigzag roof and gables overlooking the high street and town square. The middle part of the building is accessible from both the high street and the town square. The old cooperative dairy also had the gable motif as an architectural feature, and the new building thus forms a link between past and present. The facades are clad in white tiles, which also hark back to the dairy. The new cultural centre houses classic services such as a library, citizen services, a café, a multipurpose hall and activity rooms. The square on one side of the building is an integral part of the project in that it can function as an extension of the building’s public spaces and activities.

Gathering place 

The facilities in the building are spread across two floors and organised around a central stairway which architecturally also connects the two levels. Upstairs is an open-plan library with a pleasant atmosphere. In the vaulted ceilings, two longitudinal skylights distribute the daylight together with windows of varying sizes – both large and very small – in the facades. The ceilings are clad in white ultrafine Troldtekt, which ensures superior acoustics while subtly connecting with the building’s white exterior – albeit in a more textural way. The ground floor is like a communal ‘sitting room’ for the town. Here too, Troldtekt is a recurring material that ties all the various rooms and functions together. The hall on the other hand has black Troldtekt ceilings. The space around the stairs is like a street, where people pass and meet and sit down in the café. The space is also used for local exhibitions and displaying information for citizens.