”The Volcano” youth housing

Aesthetics and an inviting feel are the stunning features in the main atrium of this housing association Ringgården’s youth housing project at the port of Aarhus.

Troldtekt - Vulkanen, youth housing
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen & Martin Schubert

The atrium, from where residents access their flats, is highly original. With supreme precision, a space has been designed where the colours on the glass panels are graded and change to create a highly attractive area quite unlike the shaft-like access areas of many apartment blocks.

The six storey block, also known as "The Volcano", is in many ways, tailored to the port environment, designed with concrete façades and for minimum energy consumption. However, its location has also inspired a design which is packed with contrasts and asymmetry. Two striking features are the angled cut-outs on the roof and the large corner communal balcony halfway up, emphasised in bright red. Red is also used for the large personal lockers in the entrance which leads into the atrium and the communal kitchen on the ground floor.

Peter Dalsgaard, an architect with Cubo Arkitekter A/S, expresses his thoughts on the atrium. “We wanted to create something which offers an experience full of contrasts in relation to the exterior and a very pleasant and attractive space.”

Here, shapes, colours, light and sound are all important elements. With its distinctive colours, the space is infused with a fine sense of dynamism seldom seen in atria. The light floods in at ground floor level, from skylights above and also from the balcony on the third floor. The acoustics are subdued because the ceilings are lined with Troldtekt, which prevents long reverberation times and thereby ensures a calm and friendly atmosphere. The grey Troldtekt panels also add a textural quality, contrasting well with the coloured glass panels.