Architecture

Green-roofed visitor center vanishes into rolling landscape

Green-roofed visitor center va...
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre has been built on a protected site in Denmark that is of significant cultural importance to the country
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre has been built on a protected site in Denmark that is of significant cultural importance to the country
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is designed to resemble a small hill and preserve the local landscape (the chimney like structure pictured in the background is an existing monument)
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is designed to resemble a small hill and preserve the local landscape (the chimney like structure pictured in the background is an existing monument)
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is covered with a green roof and surrounded by carefully chosen local species of plants and flowers
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is covered with a green roof and surrounded by carefully chosen local species of plants and flowers
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre's interior includes a cafe, teaching facilities, and an exhibition center
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre's interior includes a cafe, teaching facilities, and an exhibition center
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre measures 500 sq m (roughly 5,380 sq ft) and consists of a concrete structure and generous glazing
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre measures 500 sq m (roughly 5,380 sq ft) and consists of a concrete structure and generous glazing
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is located in a rural area of Southern Jutland in Denmark
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is located in a rural area of Southern Jutland in Denmark
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre has been built on a protected site in Denmark that is of significant cultural importance to the country
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre has been built on a protected site in Denmark that is of significant cultural importance to the country
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is intended as a starting point for hikes in the area and is surrounded by several paths
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The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is intended as a starting point for hikes in the area and is surrounded by several paths
View gallery - 7 images

The Skamlingsbanken is an important hill in Danish culture that has been the site of historic meetings related to women's suffrage and other debates on democracy. So, when it was decided to build a visitor's center there, Cebra proceeded very carefully, burying the building so well among the rolling landscape that it's barely noticeable.

The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre is located in a rural area of Southern Jutland (the part of Denmark that's connected to mainland Europe) on a protected site that measures 128 hectares (316 acres). Its overall design is conceived as a gently sloping hill.

The building consists of a concrete shell that has been partially buried into the landscape. The architects collaborated with biologist Mette Keseler List and used natural peat that was dug up during the build process to cover the concrete, as well as a special grass mixture based on local species. This was then used to help ensure local herbs and flowers continued to thrive.

All the peat, greenery and soil offers the obvious benefit of not spoiling the existing landscape, but should also help regulate the interior temperature from extremes of heat and cold, thanks to its natural insulating properties.

The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre measures 500 sq m (roughly 5,380 sq ft) and consists of a concrete structure and generous glazing
The Skamlingsbanken Visitor Centre measures 500 sq m (roughly 5,380 sq ft) and consists of a concrete structure and generous glazing

The interior of the building measures 500 sq m (roughly 5,380 sq ft), much of which is taken up by an exhibition space that details the area's history of debate and democracy, and culminates in a stunning panoramic view of a nearby strait. Elsewhere are a cafe and some teaching facilities. Additionally, the building is intended as a starting point for hikes in the area and is surrounded by a network of pathways.

"Skamlingsbanken connects the past with the present and the future, and one of the project's main ambitions has been to actualize the place's remarkable history and nature into a contemporary context," said Carsten Primdahl, partner and architect at Cebra. "The new visitor center is a modern arena for democratic culture and recreates Skamlingsbanken as a setting for important debates and education about the things that concern us, e.g. climate change."

Looking to the future, Cebra also intends to add some kind of exhibition space in the area surrounding the visitor center. This is expected to be realized within the next few years.

Source: Cebra

View gallery - 7 images
5 comments
5 comments
vince
This is the way ALL homes should be MANDATED to be built in America's hell alley to avoid life and limb destruction by frequent tornado's. It should be the law of the land that all homes are built underground. Or at least above ground with cemented walls and then bermed with soil to the rooftop top.
vince
If all homes were mandated to be built underground then there is no need for a separate tornado proof structure either under the home or nearby. Then you get an all in one home that is both a cellar and a home.
vince
Fact of Life: Hobbits are smarter than humans from middle Earth. They are smarter than humans on planet Earth too. They intuitively understand the safest place to be is underground with a good berm of Earth around their dwelling. Sad but true.
Jinpa
Valley Forge Visitor Center recently completed a renovation which sort of does a similar thing. It is much bigger than the Danish site, because "The park encompasses 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) and is visited by over 1.2 million people each year." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valley_Forge_National_Historical_Park The effort is laudable in the same spirit.
Christian Lassen
Many early settlers to the west and plains states built their homes into the ground. Dug outs. There's still some of them around, falling apart and neglected. Not actually as idyllic as it sounds.

Mold, moisture, fumes, wildlife also like to settle into below-ground structures as well. Why do most people not use their basements as primary dwelling rooms, if it's so efficient to do so?

This center isn't so much built into the ground as just blended with the ground to LOOK like it. Kinda environmental virtue signalling. It's a popular esthetic in Scandinavian countries. Similar to the USA's Energy Saver, Green Materials stickers we put on everything. Makes you feel good for supporting it.