The new ski slope-shaped roof of the Mariehøj Culture Centre in Holte, Denmark is a bold architectural gesture given its suburban surroundings. Arching over the Centre's existing pitched-roof building, before curving out and downwards across two levels, the new timber and perforated metal roof functions as a welcoming archway, a pathway and an amphitheatre all at once.
Designed by young Danish studios WE ARCHITECTURE (opens in new tab) and Sophus Søbye Architects (opens in new tab), who won the project in a competition back in 2010, the new design seeks to better connect the various different areas and levels of the existing Culture Centre.
As a result of being set up within four former school buildings that date from 1924–1978, the Mariehøj Culture Centre previously suffered from a slightly ad-hoc and confusing layout. In response to this, WE Architecture and Sophus Søbye designed a series of interventions and new additions that create a seamless flow between the foyer, plaza and green spaces while also creating 800 sq m of new space.
‘We wanted to connect the entrance with the garden below while creating an amphitheatre for events,’ explain WE Architecture founders Marc Jay and Julie Schmidt-Nielsen, of their sweeping roof design. ‘In that way, the roof could function as a bridge connecting these two levels.’
Inside the new foyer, visitors are met by a bright double height space with a double staircase to the right that descends to the ground floor. Beneath the building's dramatic roof is a glass-walled cafe that looks out across beech trees to the east and a courtyard to the west.
To the right of the new entrance, an area of wooden decking wraps around the side of the building. Here, the sloping roof turns into a wooden staircase that functions as the amphitheatre, before levelling out into a flat social space with seating. From here visitors can access the ground floor of the centre and the green spaces beyond.
Berlinde de Bruyckere on religion, chaos and decay: ‘simplicity is the territory of humans’
Ahead of her show at Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Limmatstrasse we speak to Belgian sculptor and visual artist Berlinde de Bruyckere on her show ‘A simple prophecy,’ on from 26 January – 13 May 2023
By Martha Elliott • Published
Under-the-radar bag labels to know
From New Zealand to Japan, get to know the under-the-radar bag labels eschewing trends in favour of long-lasting good design
By Tilly Macalister-Smith • Published
Rala Choi: ‘Now is the time to ask photographers about what photography is’
We profile rising star photographer Rala Choi, whose vivid, ethereal images draw on the legacies of art history
By Sophie Gladstone • Published