Transformation full of contrasts
Today, it is an exciting and inspiring workplace without any dividing walls and bathed in daylight. However, the old industrial building is infused with qualities which have been preserved in the modern office environment.
In the Trøjborg neighbourhood, close to Aarhus city centre, and at what was formerly the site of, among other things, margarine production, the engineering and architecture consultancy Sweco has created new offices for all its Aarhus-based employees. Sweco was in charge of the transformation, in which the bands of windows in the sawtooth roof have been beautifully preserved together with the concrete structures. The building has been insulated to modern standards, and during the transformation and interior design work, a key objective was living up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Some of the old furniture has therefore been successfully reused.
The 180 employees work in open-plan offices along the building’s facades. As a result, they benefit from both the daylight from the skylights and the facade windows. There are several conference rooms of varying sizes in the middle of the building, but also seating arrangements for informal meetings or quiet concentration. Here, different groups of employees are able to meet at the coffee machine and exchange thoughts and experience. The larger meeting boxes also have skylights, so they are illuminated from several directions. The atmosphere is very welcoming to visitors, contrasting with the more airy spatiality of the workplaces.
The boxes sit like pieces of furniture in the large room, and are designed with a strong sense of their spatial and textural potential. The industrial rawness of the wooden structures stands out and contrasts strongly with the precise finish of the wall sections clad in Troldtekt line. The matt surface of the Troldtekt panels also contrasts with the shiny concrete floors.
Troldtekt has been chosen for many of the surfaces, including both the outside and inside walls of the boxes, in order to ensure superior acoustics and a comfortable working environment. At the same time, the interior design strikes a good balance between the impressive industrial space on the one hand and the human scale on the other, with the textural surfaces creating a sense of closeness.
“It’s highly motivating that we’ve been allowed to take charge of transforming the building and deciding the interior design of the new offices ourselves. In all modesty, we’re proud of how we’ve sensitively converted the building, and we’re looking forward to showing it to clients and colleagues. Former industrial buildings are often characterised by a uniquely energising ambience,” says Steen Gissel, market manager and architect at Årstiderne Arkitekter.