Big ambitions for a new waterfront area in Aarhus

Aarhus mayor unveils plans for a new promenade at the harbour of Denmark´s second largest city

Maritime allotments, a beach zone, a theatre, cafes, a kayak port and winding streets –  the vision for the new Basin 7 in Aarhus Ø is anything but modest. 

On Monday afternoon, the city's mayor, Jacob Bundsgaard, and architect Bjarke Ingels from BIG  presented – with evident enthusiasm – a development plan for the new waterfront area of Aarhus.

"It is going to be an area of ​​significant and distinctive architecture. But first and foremost, it is going to be a place where people can live and enjoy their life," Bundgaard told Jyllands-Posten.

Inspired by a beach bar
One of the factors that has inspired the architects is a beach bar, Strandbaren.

In a short time, the bar has managed to attract a huge crowd of Aarhusians and created a cosy, urban space right on the waterfront. 

First we bring the life in
"We often do it the other way round. First we build houses and then it takes a long time before real life moves in," explained Ingels. 

"This time we are trying to avoid this mistake by focusing on bringing life into the area before building new houses." 

Ingels mentioned Tuborg Havn and Islands Brygge in Copenhagen as examples of areas where architects focused solely on building new apartments, but which now struggle to attract urban life.

Still a preliminary vision
Also included in the plans for Aarhus Ø are a number elaborate walkways connecting the various areas and a row of allotment cottages.

The project is still in its development phase, and Monday's presentation was therefore not a final proposal.

During the autumn, citizens will get a chance to comment on the project before the Aarhus City Council selects a final plan.