Culture hall invites the city inside

Det Grønlandske Hus builds bridges between Greenland and Aarhus.

Sound-absorbing cement-bonded wood wool panels from Troldtekt are often used as acoustic ceilings in cultural buildings
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, arkitekt

Det Grønlandske Hus has been part of the charming old residential neighbourhood near Dalgas Avenue and Filtenborg Square for 40 years. Despite the attractive setting, very few Aarhus residents have likely been aware that the white stately home serves as a kind of ‘embassy’ for Greenland. A new extension is now paving the way for engaging in an active dialogue with the outside world, and is doing so in style.

The culture hall is modest in size, yet has a strong presence. It interplays with its surroundings, and the old copper beech tree on the site is part of the composition. Rubow Arkitekter designed the building, and describe the idea as follows:

“The building is inspired by the symbolism of a Greenlandic house. A stringent wooden building with a pitched roof and a distinct outline. The pure and precise form respects the architecture of the site, while the materials and proportions provide contrast.”

The culture hall actually has a steel structure, but is elegantly clad with unplaned wooden strips on the exterior walls and roof. The main entrance is located at the meeting point between the existing house and the new extension. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer passersby a look inside, and there is a distinctive bay window to the south breaking up the line of the outer wall.

The interior matches the exterior

The existing house joins the culture hall in the foyer, allowing the hall to be used separately for events that do not directly involve the rest of Det Grønlandske Hus. Inside, the hall completely reflects the outer shape of the building. A black folding wall allows the room to be divided into two, but the ceiling is visible throughout the length of the room via a high glass partition. The beautiful bay window to the south provides natural lighting and offers a seating area with a view.

The materials are simple wooden strips, plywood and Troldtekt acoustic ceilings in the colour natural wood with ultrafine structure. The combined result is a lovely airy atmosphere, reminiscent of a holiday home and relaxed social interaction. This perfectly matches the aim of serving as an open and informal gathering place for both Greenlanders and Danes in an atmosphere infused with Greenland’s unique culture.