Municipal administration building for 1,040 employees

Only a few generations ago, Gellerup was a small farm with fields to the west of Aarhus. In the 1960s, East Jutland saw significant growth, and a visionary architect-designed housing estate was built with blocks of flats, a shopping centre, swimming baths, a church and a hotel. All in concrete.

Sound-absorbing cement-bonded wood wool panels from Troldtekt are often used as acoustic ceilings in commercial properties
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, arkitekt

However, like so many developments elsewhere in the world, after a number of years the estate became dominated by serious social problems and fell into decline.

Now, Gellerup is being transformed. Several of the large blocks of flats have been demolished, and municipal workplaces have moved to the area. ‘Blixens’ – a new administration building – is one of the most distinctive, and is situated at the highest point with stunning views to the south.

Blixens is a very large building. From the outside, it does not dominate the area, because of the large scale of the existing residential blocks in Gellerup. In addition, its colossal volume is broken up by the staggered facades, creating a sculptural and varied appearance.

Raw and industrial

Inside, it soon becomes apparent that it is a workplace for more than 1,000 people. In fact, its high-ceilinged rooms actually make it feel larger than it really is. New perspectives open up at every turn, and when you think that you have seen it all, you find yourself in yet another vast atrium with green plants and lounge furniture.

The materials are very much in keeping with the spirit of the times. Raw and industrial interspersed with soft sections in recycled brick or panels made from recycled wood. Troldtekt acoustic panels blend in naturally, while their texturality supports the narrative of a sustainable office environment anno 2019.

>> Read about Café Europa located in the office building Blixens