The Harbour Houses

Havnehusene, known as the Harbour Houses, is a residential development at Aarhus which overlooks the marina and harbour. It is a zero-energy, low maintenance building with many fine details and carefully selected materials.

Troldtekt, Havnehusene
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect MAA

Constructed in brick to varying heights ranging from four to ten storeys, with communal roof-top conservatories, the development comprises 83 well lit flats, with dramatic glass balconies, together with 179 flats for young people which have adjoining communal facilities. At the same time, the different building heights open up for interaction with the surrounding green area.

Because of its well-proportioned design and distinctive qualities, built by the housing association Brabrand Boligforening, the project won the City of Aarhus’s ‘Best New Building 2015’ award. 

Each access stairway is distinguished by its own particular style of brick, maintaining a human scale at street level.  In several places, the entrances also serve as passages to the raised inner courtyard. Like the rest of the development, these are designed to enhance a positive experience of the place. Also included is a lift surrounded by a translucent screen to enhance the daylight which floods in from both the communal courtyard and the street.

The brick wall continues inside together with dark brick paving which is also used in the courtyard. Here, the ceilings are grey Troldtekt panels which, like the paving and the walls, have tactile and robust surfaces. The Troldtekt panels also ensure good acoustics in these otherwise hard surfaced spaces.  For similar reasons, the acoustic panels have also been installed in the café, communal areas and function room which service the flats for young people.