A giant seahorse

Viewed from the ring road bridge, the housing association Ringgården’s residential development near Godsbanen in Aarhus bears a clear resemblance to a seahorse, giving the complex a strong, immediate sense of identity.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect MAA

The development consists of 8 interconnected and staggered units of descending heights from 10 to 4 floors – with an outline reminiscent of a seahorse. The Godsbanen cultural and creative district in central Aarhus is being transformed, with building after building springing up, including the new Aarhus School of Architecture.

The architects CUBO Arkitekter A/S, who designed the award-winning building, were keen to reduce the scale of the residential development, and the choice of materials also makes the building more welcoming.

A people-centric development

The ground floor houses a number of shared facilities with room for small-scale commercial leases. A large, bright common room overlooks the street corner, and can be used for anything from birthday parties to the meetings of the local housing association. The interior of the common room was styled by the artist Morten Tropp, who is also behind the street art-style mural on the outside. The common room has a large kitchen.

At the entrance to the common room is a shared bicycle workshop. Black Troldtekt panels are used here, creating comfortable acoustics and adding a refined texture to the room. The shared laundry room also features Troldtekt.

The shared facilities provide access to eight roof terraces, with attractive cityscape views. The facades are clad in red brick, creating some distinctive shadow effects, with an inherent variety of styling in the facade combined with steel balconies colour-matched to the brickwork.

With their concrete surfaces and wooden battens, the recessed niches of the entrance areas have also been designed with reference to human perception and behaviour.