Raw charm with pulse

In Aarhus, the former main sorting office in Ankersgade close to the railway lines is being transformed by Ejendomsselskabet Olav de Linde. Fitness X was the first tenant to move into the lower floor of the building

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect, MAA

The main sorting office, which is slightly off the beaten track, is helping to drive the development of the entire area into a new and dynamic neighbourhood. FitnessX’s premises are flooded with daylight from the north-facing windows, while members can keep an eye on the buzz of city life and trains arriving and departing.

The style is raw yet smart. All the original concrete columns have been sandblasted, and many of the building’s authentic features have been preserved to add character. Black Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed on all the ceilings, matching the New York windows and the raw concrete while also creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Troldtekt unites the raw and the finer elements of the interior design. At the same time, the acoustics are important in the large gym, where many different activities take place simultaneously to the sound of music and noisy gym machines. Troldtekt plays a key role in ensuring a comfortable sound environment.

Transformations and contrasts

The contrast between the raw building with its exposed concrete structures and the new materials creates a special atmosphere. In addition to the Troldtekt panels, ‘wood floors’ have been laid, while beautiful, round light fixtures hang from the ceiling. The enclosed gyms have large windows with narrow black glazing bars.

Ejendomsselskabet Olav de Linde is known for the repurposing of dilapidated buildings in a way that makes it clear what is original and what has been added. Working sustainably by reusing buildings and materials rather than constructing from scratch has always been part and parcel of Olav de Linde’s philosophy, and is essentially the company’s DNA.

The transformation process is also about infusing run-down neighbourhoods with new life. Therefore, locating Jumbo Bakery & Eatery in the small, former workshop building next door is also a good way of kicking off this process.