Unsentimental architecture

It’s hard to imagine a more attractive location for a building dedicated to sailing.

Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool panels ensure superior acoustics in sports architecture
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect, Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

At the end of May 2018, the Danish Crown Prince Frederik inaugurated the new Aarhus International Sailing Centre on the city’s waterfront. The ceremony culminated with Prince Frederik hoisting a Dannebrog-patterned spinnaker on a 49er FX belonging to the two young super talents Ida Marie Baad and Marie Thusgaard. It marked a wonderful start to a new era for sailors in East Jutland.

The large pale grey concrete building is located right at the entrance to the marina and the harbour for wooden boats in Aarhus. To the north is Risskov woods, with its tall trees and the Den Permanente bathing club. The centre commands spectacular views of the bay, while being sheltered by the woods from strong westerly breezes.

The new sailing centre was designed by the firm of architects Entasis, which was a part of the team that won the architectural competition in 2013. The new building is connected to Aarhus Ø, a new residential district, via a waterside promenade. Located between the city, the harbour and the woods, it is a building with a uniquely raw design.

Unsentimental tone

From the outside, the sailing centre resembles an industrial hall with huge sliding doors and visible structural elements. A completely tectonic design. The structures are the architecture, yet there is one feature that makes the building stand out from many industrial facilities – the high degree of transparency.  Light floods into the building from all corners of the compass. The large glass sections are divided by horizontal bars that humanise the scale of the vast building.

The same unsentimental design characterises the inside of the building, and the high-ceilinged hall accommodates large numbers of dinghies, which can easily be wheeled in and out fully rigged. Troldtekt acoustic panels were an obvious choice for the exclusive fitting-out, and the panels go incredibly well with the raw concrete.

The administration department with offices, conference rooms and club facilities is situated to the south, while the first floor has a lounge with views of the bay. The south facade also features a large outdoor balcony, which is raised above the main entrance.