Katrinebjerg Dept. 76

Dept. 76 is designed to embrace the diversity of the residents in safe and inclusive communities.

The architecture of the 130 studio flats and smaller family units operates with different scales of community building and put emphasis to the importance of belonging and sharing to fight loneliness.

Holistic sustainability
Dept. 76 is certified for DGNB Gold and its sustainable solutions formed weighing both social and financial aspect in the full picture. Permeable surfaces at the roof terraces and in the courtyard as well as solar panels on the roofs add to the energy / climate adaption balance.

The common areas indoors are located towards the street to make its activities visible and present in the neighborhood. The wall that embraces the courtyard drops to make out door activities visible too.

Community building
A main issue has been to fight loneliness among residents by offering the possibility of being part of communities at several scales. Common areas both inside and outside contribute to the sense of sharing and belonging.

Human scale
The building is divided in smaller houses, facades are broken to be experienced less voluminous and details are designed with tactile and varied expressions.

The studio complex is composed of three individual buildings varied from 3 - 6 floors. Together they form a continuous soft L-shaped following the edge of the building plot. The façade drops to form a zig-zag wall that embraces the courtyard.

The individual buildings and the smaller communities they form within the whole can be read in shifts in both height and façade and create a varied expression with a distinct human scale.

Even if Dept. 76 is budgeted at the cost of 'ordinary' housing association construction, the client prioritized the resources to ensure a complex architecture with high quality and allowed us to focus on sustainable solutions.

At the same time, emphasis has been put on establishing high-quality common areas and attractive green outdoor areas for all residents.

The construction is certified DGNB Gold.

The warm soft reddish tone of the outer facades embraces the whole house and has given it the nickname ‘the embracing studio house’. On the inside, the courtyard is lighter, its walls decorated with wood trellises that in time will appear green and red from climbing plants.

Inside the building, artist NoTitle has contributed with his work on all floors with glimpses of root-like structure evolving as you climb to the top of the building.

Name: Katrinebjerg Dept. 76
Type: Competition 1st prize
Program: Residential
Client: Boligkontoret Aarhus
Size: 7200 m²
Location: Aarhus DK
Year: 2020
Collaborators: Dansk Boligbyg, Luplau Poulsen Arkitekter, Niras, Opland Landskabsarkitekter
Image credits: Morten Aagaard Krogh
Team: Anders Lonka, Martin Laursen, Martin Krogh, Simon Poulsen, Rune Knudsen, Krasimir Krumov, Sylvester Michaelsen, Arminas Sadzevicius, Telma Sofia