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HERNING MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Herning, Denmark, 2005-Sep 9, 2009

PROGRAM: temporary exhibition galleries, 150 seat auditorium, music rehearsal rooms, restaurant, media library and administrative offices

CLIENT: Herning Center of the Arts
SIZE: 5600 sm
STATUS: completed

The Herning Center of the Arts unites, for the first time, three distinct cultural institutions: the Herning Art Museum, the MidWest Ensemble and the Socle du Monde. The new Center is intended to be an innovative forum combining visual art and music. The design fuses landscape and architecture in a one-level building that will include permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a 150-seat auditorium, music rehearsal rooms, a restaurant, a media library, administrative offices and an active landscape. The design for the center aims at "building the site". In transforming the flat field, a new 40,000 sf. landscape of grass mounds and pools conceals all the parking and service areas while shaping inspiring bermed landscape spaces focused on reflecting pools positioned in the south sun. Herning's prominent relationship with textiles and art formed the inspiration for the design concept. Steven Holl states: 'Part of the current art collection is housed in an old shirt factory in Herning. This 1960s building was designed in the form of a shirt collar and is across the street from the site. It was the interaction between the factory owner and Arte Povera artists such as Piero Manzoni that enabled such a special collection of art to exist in Herning." A fabric theme is carried throughout the project from the shape of the building which resembles a collection of shirtsleeves viewed from above, through the wall finishes. Fabric tarps were inserted into the formwork to yield a fabric texture to the buildings exterior walls of white concrete.
"The imaginative intersection of art, light, and architecture offers a fittingly dramatic setting for the exhibitions..."
-Suzanne Stephens, Architectural Record
"Steven Holl's newest museum building is a complex spatial composition in harmony with its location, inspired by the art inside and replete with references to textiles. [] Embedded in a newly formed topography, the museum is married with its setting: the four "arms" of the structure spread out into the surroundings, while grass-covered berms extend the building's geometry, connecting architecture and landscape. A walk around the structure reveals surprising changes in view, sight line, and arrangement. Its sculptural quality is intensified by the play of light and shadow. ... What has been created here is a sculptural architecture rich in metaphor, which nevertheless cedes pre-eminence to the showroom exhibits."
-Claudia Fuchs, Detail
AWARDS

RIBA INTERNATIONAL AWARD 2010, UK, 2010
DANSK BYGGERI IN SITU AWARD, Denmark, 2010
INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AWARD, USA/Ireland, 2010
HERNING BUILDING OF THE YEAR, Denmark, 2010
CREDITS

architect
– Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl (design architect)
Noah Yaffe (associate in charge)
Chris McVoy (project advisor)
Lesley Chang, JongSeo Lee, Julia Radcliffe, Filipe Taboada, Christina Yessios (project team)
Cosimo Caggiula, Martin Cox, Alessandro Orsini (competition team)

local architect
– Kjaer and Richter A/S

mechanical engineer
– Niras
– Transsolar

structural engineer
– Niras

landscape architect
– Schønherr Landskab
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