ARoS – The Next Level

Aarhus/ Denmark

Size/ Ca. 4.000 
Cost/ 216 mio. DKK excl. VAT
Competition/ Direct commission 
Status/ Ongoing
Client/ Aarhus Kommune/ ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum
Client consultant/ Kuben Management A/S
Engineer & subconsultant/ COWI A/S
Artist collaboration/ James Turrell (US)
Landscape architect/ Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
Contractor/ Per Aarsleff A/S
Visuals/ B&B / FORBESMASSIE/ Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

ARoS Aarhus Art Museum in Denmark, headed by director Rebecca Matthews, has revealed an ambitious expansion plan aiming to bring the museum into the world elite of modern art museums. The Next Level expansion project is leading art towards new ways of expressions and content with an exciting collaboration with World-famous American artist, James Turrell. The new extension to the museum will contain a 1000m² subterranean gallery and a semi-subterranean art installation The Dome.

As the architects who originally designed ARoS, we have had a continuous dialogue with the museum to strengthen the iconic nature of the building. In this process, we are working in close collaboration with James Turrell designing the €30 million expansion that will merge art and architecture into a new civic experience.

From ancient times, the dome appears to be in Architecture a general symbol, signifying power, the royal city and the focal point of assembly. Architects in Christian and Muslim countries succeeded in building majestic churches and mosques with a dome, becoming masterpieces admired by their beauty. Today, The Dome at ARoS, with its 40 meters in diameter will form one of the most spectacular spaces ever built into an art museum.

The Next Level project is organized as a horizontal travel through a series of galleries and spaces that complement the disposition of ARoS as we know it today with the majority of its floors located fully or partially below ground. The Next Level project allows you to make a journey in a completely new dimension, a horizontal travel that brings the visitor through galleries and exhibition spaces. It stretches almost 120 meters below the surface out to the last space of The Dome.

James Turrell is one of the world's leading artists working with light, colors and art installations with permanent installations in over 26 countries. His works have the common feature that they embrace the audience through light and color effects controlled by the artist. Turrell’s often colorful room installations are reminiscent of three-dimensional light paintings, where he connects the earthly with the heavenly and body and sense with the mind and thought. The Next Level is his biggest project within a museum context.

Having finalised the finances and ensured political back-up for the project, ARoS Museum of Art was, in July 2020, able to make public the realisation of the museum’s extension.

From 27 November 2020 to 15 August 2021, an exhibition depicting the design process of the extension is on display at ARoS Art Museum. Here, the audience will have an opportunity to see materials and sketches showing the original ideas and brand-new visualizations of the project.

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