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  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • Gellerup Dormitory
  • LOCATION: AARHUS, DK
  • CLIENT: BRABRAND BOLIGFORENING (BBBO)
  • SIZE: 13.800 m² NEW BUILDING
  • YEAR: 2016
  • STATUS: COMPETITION PROPOSAL – CLOSED
  • ARCHITECT: CEBRA, JAJA ARCHITECTS
  • LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: SLA
  • CONTRACTOR: JØRGEN FRIIS POULSEN
  • ENGINEER: SWECO DANMARK

The Gellerup Halls of Residence is one of the first projects to be realised as part of the masterplan for the comprehensive transformation and revitalisation of the Gellerup and Toveshøj area in Aarhus. As such, the dormitory plays a central role in this process as both magnet and promoter of the new quarter’s life, appeal and identity. Our proposal for the dormitory manifests the correlation between city, neighbourhood, building and dwelling in order to provide attractive living qualities for each resident while at the same time giving something back to the city.

The proposal’s underlying architectural concept combines the classic perimeter block’s compact structure and community oriented qualities with the traditional urban streetscape’s diversity, sensuality and human scale. The dormitory consists of six interconnected buildings with different heights, expression and organisation. Together, they create a composition with a high degree of spatial diversity that makes room for a variety of different communities in the transition between private and public space. The composition follows a consistent and logic 3+3 methodology, which ensures that the large building becomes physically, visually and psychologically accessible.

The overall complex consists of two types of building blocks that hold different qualities, functions and expressions and can be described as an atrium building and a wing building respectively. The 2×3 buildings are arranged alternately so that they form the described perimeter block structure. This system subdivides the dormitory into smaller and easily readable units or houses, which supports orientation and creates spatial diversity. It is important that the system makes it possible to see and feel where you are, when you are moving inside, through and around the dormitory. Therefore, the variations in the building expression and organisation are always motivated by their functional content.

While the houses of the complex align outwards along the street the composite structure creates a diverse green courtyard with niches, corners and smaller spaces. This inside-outside principle aims at opening the traditional perimeter block towards its surroundings in order to support an active ground floor and urban life with extrovert functions towards the street while at the same time providing a safe and homely environment for the residents in the form of a more intimate courtyard environment in connection with the dormitory’s introvert common areas.

The vertical spaces of the atrium buildings constitute essential landmarks within the organisation and daily life of the dormitory. As such, they are designed to add some valuable qualities to the overall complex. The atriums serve as elements for forging identity, which offer different experiences and serve as easily recognisable points of orientation within the dormitory. With their different sizes they pose a spatial counterbalance to horizontal orientation of the wing buildings so that long monotonous hallways are avoided and the architecture itself becomes a wayfinding element. To support this functionality the atrium facades towards the central space are decorated so that each atrium has its own theme, which represents a branch of study.