Ny Malt in Ebeltoft

An iconic factory in Djursland, Denmark, has been transformed into a cultural powerhouse.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings in cultural buildings
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect

The malt factory has stood in the centre of Ebeltoft for one and a half centuries – as big as a cathedral and with great views of the bay. The red lime-washed factory building from 1861 has battlements and a tall brick chimney, topped with a gigantic stainless steel wind cap.

All last century, S.B. Lundberg’s malt factory was an important producer of malt for beer brewing, both in Denmark and abroad. There was great demand for the malt, and extensions and silos were added as the business grew. Over the years it developed into a labyrinthine complex, with a multitude of different rooms.

Dramatic transformation

The golden years eventually came to an end, and the buildings fell into disrepair. When production closed down completely in 1998, Ebeltoft was left with a ghostly icon that served no purpose. There were many ideas, but it took time to build consensus and secure the financing. The process only gained momentum in 2007, and then it took 13 years for the project to be completed, in 2020.

Now the factory has a new identity, and the town of Ebeltoft will never be the same again. The setting is ideal for entrepreneurs, artists and people who enjoy cultural events. Tourists will flock to it in the summer season, and Ny Malt will still be buzzing with life when they leave again.

Many people have contributed to the project, and Praksis Arkitekter has been responsible for the outstanding transformation. This has been done with great respect for the existing factory, and modern artist’s homes with workshops have been built that are in harmony with the whole.

Room to dream

Praksis Arkitekter have immersed themselves in the history of the building. They have also listened to the many different users and created amazing spaces for activities. The look they have achieved is a cunning mix of raw concrete, existing wooden structures, steel staircases and uniquely shaped spaces. New experiences await behind most of the doors, and many of the factory machines have been preserved as sculptures, with great storytelling value.

The architects have made the building more open, by removing concrete decks and creating long lines of sight. The raw interiors naturally entail acoustic challenges, but these have been addressed by installing Troldtekt acoustic ceilings in many of the rooms. Black panels and white panels have been used, both of which fit discreetly into the overall look. The acoustics in the workshop and the charming café in the adjoining buildings have also been improved using cement-bonded wood wool.