Visitor Centre at old abattoir (AARCH)

My first year main assignment from 2012/2013. We had to make some sort of intervention or building on the site of an old abattoir in Aarhus. Back then I had almost too many ideas, so the project quickly became confusing and hard to explain, so a lot of the ideas have been weeded out for this already very long post. Since then I have learned more about keeping my ideas clean and simple, but I still think that this project has some real qualities that I might reuse at some point.

Phase one was registration of the site. Finding areas of interest and generally getting a feel for the place.
This map shows my selected areas of interest. The landscape with a quite dominating hill, the directors house and a tunnel connecting two parts of the facility.The landscape being where I wanted to settle and the others being areas where I wanted to take some of the qualities and reuse them.
A main focus became directors house on the grounds also the underside of the tunnel. The quality of lifting themselves from the ground and the space that emerges below them interested me.
Another focus was the inside of the tunnel and another long hallway inside the abattoir that had very specific light conditions and a feeling of being inside a big and complex organism. I wanted to use some of these qualities, the long sense of spense and distance, the use of light, and the overall confusion.
Next phase was to try to extract some qualities from our focuses. I decided to do this being extracting rythms and perspectives from the rooms. First the tunnel.
The final focus area being the landscape. The rythms I got from them in a Liebeskindish way became the foundation for my futher spatial and geometric investigations.
Trying to achieve depth and relief to get shapes I could use for my site.
I then applied, rotated, selected, connected and scaled the shapes I thought fit best in the landscape. With parts of the structure emerging above the hill as with the directors house.
Early 3D renderings and isometric drawing on top of the map of interests. These gave me some idea of what I wanted to do with regards to flow through the landscape and which elements I might want to create.
Next I layed these out on a context model i lasercutted
An early sketch of the building, but with a lot of the qualities and getting closer to the final result. I Thought the floors/roofs needed to be much thinner and more elegant to give this feeling of them extruding and floating from the hillside.
Phase 3 was programming. This was when we should decide what we wanted to do with our ideas. My idea was to take the experiences from the inside of the factory and combine them with the view from atop the hill of the abattoir to tell the story of the place, and the history of the area, making a sort of experience and visitors centre to the now deserted area.
We had to base our programming on a text excerpt about a prisoner's experiences. The part that I focused on was about how everything became cyclical and there seemed to be no end. I decided to make a complex building with different entrances and no set destination, where depending on how you entered you would get different views and experiences. In a very direct way I also decided to make the flow spiral through the building, also to intensivate aforementioned qualities from the hallway and the text.
The final 1:200 context model.
The next phase was the buildings innards. I took the idea from the investigation tunnel and the hallway, and used the metaphorical idea of the intestins of a pig to create a complex and confusing room with membranes that could hold posters with information about the area, while obscuring ones view.
The finished 1:50 model of the inside of the building.
The 1:100 model of the building itself containing ideas from the hallway, and shows beste of all the thin floors that I wanted to extrude from the hillside in contrast to the more massive viewpoint next to them and the soft hills.
The hallway inside the viewpoint. Light study.
Final 1:100 model.
Final technical drawings showing the landscape and the main room inside the building.
Drawing showing different perspectives the visitor would see while walking through the structure and the landscape.
Back to Top