Although we had featured the Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by Steven Holl Architects back in July of 2009, in the light of yesterday's news of the project receiving a 2010 RIBA International Award, we wanted to show some new material about the project that we have just received. The museum unites three distinct cultural institutions: the Herning Center of the Arts, the MidWest Ensemble and the Socle du Monde.
The new center is intended to be an innovative forum combining visual art and music, providing a driving cultural force for the region of central Jutland, Denmark.
A fusion of landscape and architecture, the landscape of grass mounds and reflecting pools aligns with a geometry of curved roof sections in a new building that houses permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a 150-seat auditorium, music rehearsal rooms, a restaurant, a media library, and administrative offices all on one level.
Herning’s longstanding relationship with textiles and the textile industry, as well as the museum’s large collection of original works by Piero Manzoni (in total 46 works) forms the inspiration for the building’s design concept.
The museum is sited near Herning’s original Angli shirt factory, and the shirt collar-shaped plan of its 1960s building has inspired the shape of the new museum building. Viewed from above, HEART’s roof geometry resembles a collection of shirt sleeves laid over the gallery spaces. The loose edges of the plan offer spaces for the café, auditorium, lobby, and offices. The exhibition spaces can be easily closed, while all peripheral spaces remain open for after-hours use.
The galleries are orthogonal in plan and finely proportioned for art, while overhead curved roof sections transport natural light into the spaces.
The galleries’ perimeter walls are load bearing elements, emphasizing these as “treasure boxes” in the museum, while internal gallery walls of lightweight construction are movable. Floors of integral color charcoal concrete unify the ground plane into a continuous patina with a wax finish.
Client: Herning Center of the Arts
Architect: Steven Holl Architects: Steven Holl (design architect), Noah Yaffe (project architect), Chris McVoy (project advisor), Martin Cox, Cosimo Caggiula, Lesley Chang, Alessandro Orsini, JongSeo Lee, Julia Radcliffe, Filipe Taboada, Christina Yessios (project team)
Local architect: Kjaer and Richter A/S
Mechanical engineer: Niras, Transsolar
Structural engineer: Niras
Landscape architect: Schønherr Landskab
Photographs by ©Thomas Moelvig or ©Iwan Baan as indicated on each photograph
Drawings and diagrams