The New Historic

In Danish market town Aabenraa, the transformation of the historic city creates strong links between the visionary urban master plan and the city's historic public space formed by local conditions.

Through extensive transformation, the historic center of Aabenraa has resurfaced with a more coherent street network and defined squares with individual character. From visionary plan to detailed paving, the project is born from a deep understanding of the city, clearly transforming urban potential to stronger connections and attractive public space. 


'From visionary plan to detailed paving, the project is born from a deep understanding of the city, clearly transforming urban potential to stronger connections and attractive public space'

Creating links from the grand perspectives to the smallest detail, the aim has been to establish a strong identity for the historic city center as a whole, but at the same time to allow the micro-local conditions to affect the individual public space. The transformation is based on the scale and experience in the historic center, but add new layers of modernity to streets and squares. The new identity is highlighted through paving patterns and urban furniture that were designed to support various forms of public life. 

The playful contrast between customized yellow-brown tiles and classic cobblestones gives a nuanced experience of the scale in the city as well as an easily recognizable urban floor, laid throughout the transformed area. 

The patterns and materials of the paving encourage a lower speed in the transformed area while changes in material acts as the only separation of traffic.  

'Through the transformation of the historic city, we have fulfilled a huge part of our visions for Aabenraa, creating coherence and better connections in the historic part of the city, as well as established a better connection between the Campus and the inner city' 

Stig W. Isaksen, Director of Culture, Environment and Business, Aabenraa. 

Name: The New Historic
Type: Competition 1st prize
Program: Public Space
Client: Aabenraa Municipality
Size: 16.500 m²
Location: Aabenraa DK
Year: 2015-2018
Collaborators: Topotek1, Atkins
Image credits: Hanns Joosten
Team: Martin Krogh, Martin Laursen, Anders Lonka, Dorte Børresen, Ola Lidén, Marie Glad, Jesper Skjoldborg, Lars Henriksen