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Salling Tower

The viewing tower and landmark of Aarhus Harbour in Denmark is shaped like a sharp origami paper cut. It elegantly rests on a 3 square meter foot print, making the heavy white body of steel seem effortless. The white steel tower will stand out as a glowing landmark giving identity to the area and act as a point of reference and meetings in this new part of the city.

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-03-Torben-Eskerod-759x479 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Torben Eskerod

“The tower creates a lively route from the quayside to the viewing platform 7.5 meters above. The visitor is lead below the expressive cantilevered body of the tower, to a position hovering above the reflective water surface of the harbor.

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-06-Quintin-Lake-759x506 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Quintin Lake

The movement continues upwards via a spacious staircase fitted for seating – offering magnificent panoramic views of the harbor and the bay. The journey culminates at a spacious and sheltered viewing platform above the treetops of the boulevard.

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-07-Torben-Eskerod-800x1200 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Torben Eskerod

Aarhus will gain a beautiful and significant landmark celebrating vision and social encounters at the edge of the water. The structure is made of welded steel plates, produced in a shipyard and sailed to the site.” – Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-08-Torben-Eskerod-759x506 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Torben Eskerod

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter:

The new viewing tower and landmark on the harbour of Aarhus Ø, The Salling Tower, is shaped as a dramatic urban sculpture with a significant architectural expression. The white body of steel is a luminous and distinctive focal point and meeting place.

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-09-Torben-Eskerod-800x1200 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Torben Eskerod

Visitors will be led on a course full of experiences that start at the quayside and go to the upper platform 7.5 meters above quay-level. The route through the tower leads under an inclined surface and up to the first viewing plateau that hovers above the water. From here, the visitor is led upwards by a broad staircase which serves a lookout to panoramic views of the harbour and bay. Finally, the covered upper plateau provides a 360 degree overlook of the city and the harbour.

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-11-Torben-Eskerod-759x506 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Torben Eskerod

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-12-Torben-Eskerod-759x433 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Torben Eskerod

The viewing tower by Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter adds a significant landmark to the harbour. It is distinguished from the surroundings with its expression of folded geometry. Despite the distinctive appearance, the tower contributes to the historic trading port by referencing the maritime environment. Peek holes and a massive white painted steel-plate construction promote the feeling of being at sea.

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-13-Torben-Eskerod-800x1200 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Torben Eskerod

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-14-Quintin-Lake-759x506 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Quintin Lake

The tower is a gift for the city donated by the Salling Funds. A criteria was that it should be accesible for everyone. A lift is installed and provides an equal user-experience for visitors with reduced mobility by following the staircase from the bottom to the top platform. At night, LED backlighting illuminates the tower from the inside, recalling the masts of neighboring cargo ships.

Salling-Tower-By-Dorte-Mandrup-Arkitekter-15-Quintin-Lake-759x506 Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

© Quintin Lake

Project Data:

Project name: Salling Tower
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Coordinates: 56.164196, 10.223719
Type: ViewPoint, Public Facilities, Meeting / Conference / Banquet
Program: New construction, landmark on the harbour front in Aarhus
Size: 7.5 meter high
Status: Built
Completion Year: August 2015


  • 2016 – WAN Awards – Category: Metal in Architecture – Winner

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: City of Aarhus
Architects: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter – Vesterbrogade 95 A, 4., 1620 Copenhagen Denmark
Sponsor: Salling Foundation
Engineer: Søren Jensen A/S
Text Description: © Courtesy of Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
Images: © Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, Torben Eskerod, Quintin Lake

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Salling Tower / Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter
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