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4181From lumberyard to sustainable neighbourhood – how we can reuse the past to build the future

Recycling of building materials, low resource consumption, a DGNB Platin pre-certification and a visible urban drainage system for rainwater management. The sustainable ambitions for the new neighbourhood, Trælasten, in Aarhus are unmistakable and currently, the nascent designs of the specific buildings and urban spaces are deciding how selected building materials from the former lumberyards will be reused on-site in the new urban district.

Over the coming years, a brand-new sustainable neighbourhood, Trælasten, will rise in Aarhus on a prominent location close to the city centre. Trælasten is an urban transformation project that develops a 36,000 sqm industrial and commercial site into a mixed-use neighbourhood. On the site’s most prominent plot CEBRA develops an entire block comprising an office building, townhouses and both private and public apartment buildings. Furthermore, CEBRA designs the urban landscape for the entire neighbourhood.

Recycling is a central theme in the development of Trælasten, and both the landscape and buildings of the new neighbourhood will include features, where building materials from the site’s former lumberyard warehouses are reused – i.e., CEBRA reuses former brick facades as floors in the office building and the roof structures of CEBRA’s housing project are designed, so rafters from the former warehouses can be reused in the new buildings. Also, CEBRA is currently working on designing street furniture for the landscape project where building materials may be reused.

“When a building comes down, the natural question should always be if some of the leftover building materials can be reused in new buildings or urban spaces. But recycling of building materials can be very difficult, because our standards for materials generally are very high – which they should be! Often, we don’t know the specific components of a material because of missing data, and it can be hard to tell how materials have been treated with i.e., chemicals. To identify, map and analyse all materials is very time-consuming and sometimes impossible,” says partner Mikkel Frost.

A systematic approach
The recycling process at Trælasten started long before the actual demolition concurrent with the local planning process. The first step was to screen and define the materials from the site’s existing buildings to decide which materials that were suitable for reuse thus creating a ‘material bank’. Afterwards, a catalogue with inspiration for reuse was developed for the different architectural advisors, who are now implementing the selected materials into concrete building and landscape designs.

“The way we are working with recycling at Trælasten – in cooperation with PensionDanmark, CASA and the other advisors – could inspire similar urban development projects. Besides obvious sustainable advantages, the reuse of materials offers a tactility that is hard to create from new materials alone. It adds roughness and layers of history to the project,” says Mikkel Frost.

Trælasten is developed in collaboration with PensionDanmark, CASA and Moe. Other architecture firms working in the district are Gehl, BRIQ, LOOP, and Vandkunsten.

Learn more about Trælasten.
Aerial photo: CASA

For further information
Laura Sofie Toftdahl, Head of Communications
M: +45 30240400 / E:

4168CEBRA inaugurates new Copenhagen office

From December 2021 CEBRA is represented in the capital area with a new office at Flæsketorvet in central Copenhagen.

“The Copenhagen office will bring us even closer to our clients, collaborators, and projects in Copenhagen. We have considered opening an office for years, as our commissions in the region have increased, and now we have taken the step,” says Kolja Nielsen, CEO and Founding Partner.

CEBRA is currently working on several exciting projects in Copenhagen – among other things the student housing part of Tunnelfabrikken, a new hub for culture opening in Nordhavn, and the mixed-use project Torveporten in Valby. Earlier, CEBRA has designed the layout for the comprehensive extension and refurbishment of the science centre and museum Experimentarium in Hellerup.

Find the Copenhagen office at:
CEBRA Copenhagen
Flæsketorvet 75, 3rd floor
1711 Copenhagen V

For further information
Laura Sofie Toftdahl, Head of Communications
M: +45 30240400 / E:

4154Al Hosn Masterplan wins WAF Award 2021

The Al Hosn Masterplan project in Abu Dhabi wins WAF Awards 2021 in the category “Landscape – Urban Context”.

The World Architecture Festival (WAF) is an annual festival and award ceremony dedicated to architecture and the international development industry. Each year the festival awards and celebrates architectural excellence from across the globe, and this year the Al Hosn Masterplan in Abu Dhabi was honoured the award for best landscape project in an urban context.

“The WAF Award 2021 is the 8th award we receive for this project, and we are overwhelmed and honoured by the great interest and adulation. The Al Hosn is unique, and we are really proud to have created a project which today is an asset for the entire city of Abu Dhabi,” says Mikkel Frost, Founding Partner and Architect.

The Al Hosn project is developed in close collaboration with The Department of Culture and Tourism DCT Abu Dhabi.

The landscape project at the Al Hosn site reconnects Abu Dhabi’s significant heritage site surrounding the Qasr Al Hosn fort with the modern metropolis and its inhabitants by introducing a distinctive locally rooted urban landscape that bridges between Emirati heritage, nature and modern city life. The landscape design implements a set of sustainable initiatives that adapt to the site, the local climate and the culture. Seamlessly integrated into the overall design language they serve both as sustainable urban planning tools and as cultural anchors, thereby developing and revitalizing the area’s inherent qualities.

Learn more about the Al Hosn masterplan and landscape project. The project is developed in close collaboration with GHD (engineers), Elgaard Architecture (conservation architects), SLA (plant specialist) and Theater Advices (theatre specialists).

For further information
Laura Sofie Toftdahl, Head of Communications
M: +45 30240400 / E:

4135Al Hosn Masterplan wins WAN Gold Award 2021

The comprehensive masterplan for the Al Hosn site in Abu Dhabi, developed by CEBRA and the Department of Culture and Tourism DCT Abu Dhabi, has been awarded this year’s WAN Gold Award in the category “Mixed Use”.

In 2016 CEBRA was commissioned to reinstate the Qasr al Hosn Fort – the city’s oldest building – as Abu Dhabi’s cultural heart. The fort is located on a 400 x 400 metre site, which also comprises the city’s Cultural Foundation. Today the site is transformed into a vivid public park, which enhances the two historic buildings as important landmarks in the city. Simultaneously, the project adds several new functions to the Al Hosn site making it an asset to the entire city of Abu Dhabi – restaurants, facilities for cultural activities, a breathtaking Musallah prayer hall, and an impressive open landscape with water elements and shady pocket spaces for breaks in the Middle Eastern sun.

“We are extremely proud to receive this award. We have been honored to be architects on a project of this character and importance. We wanted to create a project, that gives something back to the city of Abu Dhabi and simultaneously make people feel, sense and understand what once was by enhancing the two historic buildings – it makes cultural heritage present while also celebrating the future,” says Founding Partner and Architect, Mikkel Frost.

A contemporary interpretation of the coastal desert landscapes
Today, the Qasr Al Hosn Fort and The Cultural Foundation Building are connected through a landscape project diagonally dividing the public park into two contrasting landscapes: A soft, open desert landscape surrounding the Qasr Al Hosn – which recreates its original setting on a coastal desert landscape – and a paved, more mand-made area with intensified planting around the Cultural Foundation Building. Together, the landscape creates an architectural interpretation of Abu Dhabi Island’s coastal desert landscape of sandbars, mangroves and the salt flats’ distinctive mud crack patterns. All new buildings and facilities, which have been added to the site as a part of the project, are disguised as landscape elements to maintain the illusion of a landscape, which only contains the two historic buildings.

The project is developed in close collaboration with GHD (engineers), Elgaard Architecture (conservation architects), SLA (plant specialist) and Theater Advices (theatre specialists).

The Al Hosn project has received the following awards:
WAF 2019 – Religious Building – Al Musalla
Architizer Awards – Architecture + Ceilings – Al Musalla
Identity Design award 2020 – Cultural Building – Al Musallah
Identity Design award 2020 – Urban Landscape
AIA middle East 2020 – Urban Landsacpe
AIA middle East 2020 – Culture

Learn more:
Al Hosn Masterplan
Al Hosn Landscape
Al Musallah
The Children’s Library
The Cultural Foundation

For further information
Laura Sofie Toftdahl, Head of Communications
M: +45 30240400 / E:

4114Nye: How urban development can increase biodiversity

Is it possible to develop an entire new suburb, while still protecting and developing the areas’ biodiversity? Nye north of Aarhus is the case, that proves that it’s possible. Due to a focused work with rainwater management and registration of the areas’ local species, Nye is once again home for plants and animals, which have been gone for decades.

Nye is an entirely new suburb north of Aarhus covering 150ha and which – when completed – will house 13.500 inhabitants. Also, Nye is a project with a remarkably ambitious approach to sustainability focusing on i.e., rainwater management and biodiversity.

“When the first thoughts about Nye was formed, the site was laid out as conventional farm land. But due to a focused strategy for biodiversity – working with blue and green landscape rooms – we managed to transform the area into a natural home for more species, than before Nye was developed,” says Mikkel Schlesinger, architect and partner at CEBRA.

A greater variety of plants and flowers

As a part of the design of Nye’s green areas, a specific mix of seeds, with local herbs and flowers, was developed in cooperation with a biologist. The mix contained 27 different species. Today 146 different plants are registered in Nye.

“With the mix of seeds, we wanted to kick-start nature’s development in the area. Thus, some species have been planted here, while others have occurred naturally over time, because we made the conditions for nature to develop within the suburb,” explains Mikkel Schlesinger.

CEBRA and Tækker have designed the master plan for Nye, which forms the foundation for the development of the entire site. The master plan is based on a holistic approach to sustainable urban planning, which combines the best aspects from the dense city centres and the open green suburbs respectively.

The return of red listed species
Several red listed animals have also been searching back to Nye, since the development of the suburb began. An overall strategy for rainwater management – where water holes and ditches have both functional and recreational value – has created natural habitats for several animals. Thus, Nye is once again home to i.e., northern crested newt, which has not been present in the area for several years.

The mapping and analyses of Nye’s biodiversity is made in cooperation with COWI. The landscape architecture is designed in cooperation with Labland architects. Nye is developed in several stages with stage 1 completed and stage 2 under development.

Learn more about Nye.

For further information
Laura Sofie Toftdahl, Head of Communications
M: +45 30240400 / E:

4083New Head of Communications at CEBRA

 From November 1st Laura Sofie Toftdahl will join the CEBRA team as new Head of Communications.

“By adding Laura to our team, we will be able to share more of our research, projects and visions. We have investigated a lot in both development of new initiatives within research and technology and within sustainable architecture – the next natural step will be to share more of our knowledge with the rest of the world,” says Mikkel Frost, Founding Partner.

During 2021 CEBRA also experienced a rapid development within new projects and markets. In 2021 CEBRA opened a new studio at Flæsketorvet in Copenhagen, and currently the firm is working on big projects like NYE in Aarhus, the new Danish Crown Headquarters in Randers and Trælasten in Aarhus.

“We have so many great stories and projects, that we found it hard to find the time to communicate all of them. That is why, Laura is now a part of our team,” says Mikkel Frost.

Laura has a degree in strategic communications from the Danish School of Media and Journalism and comes from a position as a Communications Consultant in Sweco Denmark. At CEBRA Laura will be responsible for the maintenance and development of the CEBRA brand and for all internal and external communication.

Get in touch with Laura at or +45 30240400.