Isbjerget – The Iceberg Dwellings
JDS Architects, Danish studio CEBRA, together with the Dutch firm SeARCH and French architect Louis Paillard are currently completing the Iceberg housing complex in the new Aarhus Docklands development area in Aarhus, Denmark.
Isbjerget (the Iceberg) was designed in collaboration with JDS, Louis Paillard and CEBRA after winning a limited design competition and is on schedule for completion early 2013. The building is 21.500 m2, situated in Aarhus, Denmark – right at the front row harbor – and contains numerous dwelling types as well as smaller commercial facilities at ground level.
Basically the project is a respond to a three dimensional building envelope determined by the municipality. The envelope allowed a building of 21.500 m2 rising to a maximum height of seven to eight stories. But to allow better views toward the ocean and better daylight conditions, the roofs are pushed up and down to create a mountain like series of buildings. The tops and bottoms of the mountains are constantly shifting so that views between the volumes become possible. This strategy keeps the building at the average height of the allowed seven to eight stories, since the roofs are as much over as under the maximum building height. But it also creates views to future buildings behind the Iceberg site, and this generous feature made it possible to bend the rules and planning regulations.
The varied building shapes are used to create a multitude of different apartment types. At ground level a number of town houses in two levels are integrated into the volume, and obviously the peaks of the buildings contain spectacular pent house apartments also stretching across several stories. Between these a variety of apartments with different balconies, shapes and orientations are found – all to insure an urban environment with a social diversity of people of different ages, incomes and family relations living together. This supports the radical idea of mixing condos with rental apartments, not only in the same building but around the very same hallways. One has to imagine the benefits of for instance elderly people looking after kids in return for shopping favors or students helping with the homework or setting up your computer – a community of different people insuring that the complex is alive around the clock, and that people who cannot afford to buy a home will have a chance to rent one. Thus the complex becomes a neighborhood instead of just a group of buildings.
- The Iceberg Project is a renovation of the out-of-use waterfront container terminal of the city and has its name from the buildings’ peaky design and white façade.
- The project is part of a transformation of the waterfront into a socially sustainable residential area, comprised of a multitude of cultural and social activities, a generous amount of workplaces, as well as a highly mixed and diverse array of housing types. A third of the project’s 200 apartments will be set aside as affordable rental housing, aimed at integrating a diverse social profile into the new neighbourhood.
- The buildings’ peaky design is not just for aesthetical purposes, but ensures that all apartments are supplied with a generous amount of natural lighting and waterfront views.
Dream House With Sea View:
iceberg is the first line on the drawing board designed to optimize amenity value. Sea views are a priority in every home, and all the apartments can enjoy a stunning panoramic view that stretches from Aarhus city and moves over Marselisborg Forest, Aarhus Bay and Kalø bay and all the way to Helgenaes and Sletterhage.
Housing for Everyone:
The distinctive building rises in 10 floors on top of the associated underground parking. The property consists of 208 apartments ranging in size from 55 m2 to 227 m2. And with homes in two levels, housing split-level and homes with spaces in double height there is something for everyone in the iceberg.
iceberg is created by the hottest materials. The facade’s white terrazzo stands in beautiful contrast to the soft, tropical wood paneling on the balcony floor. From the moment you step inside, witnesses everything from the polished marble tiles for the elegant, handle-less kitchens on an uncompromising design.
Diversity for sale and rent:
The diverse housing supply makes the iceberg for the obvious home for all who want to stay with unique views and first line to the bay. There is room for the couple who want to enjoy retirement near the sea, for the single of all ages who want to stay near the city offers, for the young couple starting a new life together, and for families with children who both want space, nature and city life.
Iceberg has both renting and owning homes. So whether you’re walking around with a dream of owning your own home, or whether you prefer the freedom of staying a tenant, iceberg also a home for you.
The Aarhus Harbour development provides a huge opportunity for Denmark’s second largest city to develop in a socially sustainable way by renovating its old, out-of-use container terminal. The area is meant to become a living city quarter, comprised of a multitude of cultural and social activities, a generous amount of workplaces, and of course, a highly mixed and diverse array of housing types. The Iceberg Project seeks to locate itself within the goals of the overall city development. A third of the project’s 200 apartments will be set aside as affordable rental housing, aimed at integrating a diverse social profile into the new neighborhood development. The project’s main obstacle is the density set up for the development, the desired square meters are in conflict with the specified site height restrictions and the overall intentions of providing ocean views along with good daylight conditions. The Iceberg negotiates this problematic, by remaining far below the maximum heights at points and emerging above the dotted line at other moments. “Peaks” and “canyons” form; eliciting the project’s iconic strength while ensuring that all flats will be supplied with a generous amount of natural lighting and waterfront views.
“With the Iceberg we get unique housing qualities as well as a city architectural expression of the highest quality”, says Kent Martinussen, adm. dir. of DAC (Danish Architecture Centre).
“Århus will get a fantastic harbour front with unique architectural buildings that both in appearance and functionality prove that we are a city of grand ambitions. Our desire for this area goes beyond just a façade without life and purpose. We want a living city where everybody thrives. Both those who live and those who work in this “City near the harbour / De Bynære Havnearealer”. Projects of this calibre are a big step towards this goal.” – Mayor, Nicolai Wammen
Isbjerget (Iceberg) located on a stunning site on the waterfront of Aarhus, takes its inspiration from floating icebergs in continual motion. The design team reshaped the masterplan that consisted of closed blocks, into four L-shaped wings. Its peaks and canyons elicit the project’s iconic strength while ensuring that all apartments take in a generous amount of natural light and feature waterfront views. At 7 and 8 stories and 21,500 m2, Isbjerget houses 155 one or two story apartments and commercial space on the ground floor. The varied building shapes create a series of apartment types. At ground level a number of 2 story townhouses are integrated into the volume. Penthouse apartments are located within the stunning peaks of the building. Balconies feature glass changes in gradations of deep blue at the base to transparent at the top in keeping with the color of an iceberg. A mix of apartments with different balconies, shapes and orientations ensure an urban living environment with social diversity.
Project name: Isbjerget – The Iceberg Dwellings
Location: Mariane Thomsens Gade 43, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Type: Housing, Apartment
Specific Use of Building: social housing Development, Housing comprising of 200 apartments
Site Area: 6,300 sqm
Project Area: 21,500 sqm
Project Year: 2007-2013
Competition Year: 2007
Budget: 32,600,000 EUR
Completion Year: 2013
Client / Owner / Developer: Pension Denmark, Braband Boligforening
- JDS Architects – Vesterbrogade 69D, 1620 Copenhagen, Denmark
- CEBRA – Denmark
- SeARCH – Hamerstraat 3, 1021 JT Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Louis Paillard – 55 rue des Prairies , 75020 Paris
JDS Partner in charge: Andrew Griffin, Henning Stuben, Julien De Smedt
Project Leader: Edna Luddecke, Kristoffer Harling, Heechan Park, Andy Vann
Text Description: © Courtesy of JDS Architects, SeARCH, Isbjerget
Images: © JDS, CEBRA, SeARCH and Louis Paillard, Mikkel Frost, Julien de Smedt, Isbjerget