From floating dock to design

Design companies large and small now line the street Balticagade at the port of Aarhus, but from a distance the large buildings still resemble industrial units strung out along the quaysides.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen

When Aarhus Flydedok vacated the Mellemarmen pier right in the middle of the port of Aarhus, the real estate company Olav de Linde A/S set to work realising the potential in the old shipyard buildings. The area has been slowly and successfully developed while retaining its spirit and charm. Today, an address on Balticagade is popular with both well-established firms and start-ups who love the characterful premises with their visibly worn brickwork, redundant overhead crane and unusual ceiling heights.

Olav de Linde prefers to preserve buildings to the greatest possible extent, and to use recycled materials in the process. In doing so, the company works with both sustainability and conservation.


Sustainability is also important for Minimum, a clothing brand. Minimum’s offices in one of the former shipyard buildings are a good example of how existing buildings which are transformed into offices feel rather special. Double-pitch rooflights and double-height rooms create a unique atmosphere. Minimum and two smaller companies occupy two parallel halls, which are connected. The canteen is located on a mezzanine level, from where you can look across the entire room.

In order for such a raw and large space to function as an office, it was necessary to address the acoustics as part of the transformation process. Here, white Troldtekt acoustic panels were installed on large sections of the ceiling. It is obvious that the Troldtekt panels are added elements.

Swift Creatives

The design company Swift Creatives occupies a neighbouring building on Balticagade that has also been transformed. “We work with sound,” they say – the company designs wireless speakers and headphones, for example.

Here too, Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed on the ceilings to ensure good acoustics. The Troldtekt panels have been mounted directly on the raw concrete surfaces, and have been chosen in the same colour. Even though the ceilings are concrete grey, the room feels light and vibrant. Daylight floods in through the large windows, as does reflected light from the water and the Bay of Aarhus.

At one end are two conference rooms with glass walls, while the rest of the space is arranged to accommodate office workspaces, a dining area and a showroom. It is in former industrial buildings like these that such modern interiors work best.