The Culture Island

Middelfart/ Denmark

Size/ 4,500 m²
Cost/ € 8.7 million excl. VAT
Competition/ 2002, 1st prize in restricted competition
Status/ Construction period 2003 – 2005
Client/ The Municipality of Middelfart
Contractor/ MT Højgaard
Engineer/ Hundsbæk & Henriksen
Cooperating Architect/ Karl C. Rosenberg Rasmussen
Harbour Builder/ Morten Rosbæk
Interior design/ shldesign

The highly sculptural quality of the new Culture Island energises the newly created peninsula extending into Middelfart’s waterfront. The Culture centre is a multi-functional building accommodating a wide range of the town’s culture facilities including a new public library, cinema, panorama restaurant, café, tourist information office and the town’s assembly hall. The Culture Island is created from its surroundings as an architectural sculpture inspired by the sea and the bridges spanning the Little Belt on each side of the Island.

The Culture Island is situated on an artificial peninsula in the narrow channel between Jutland and the island of Funen. The peninsula is floating above the water on piles deep in the sea bed, and it is surrounded by an exclusive marina.

Four large glass panels afford views from the cultural centre over the water, and also admit generous levels of daylight into the interior.

In the evening, these windows glow and fields of light are reflected in the water. The rest of the façade consists of large surfaces covered with zinc, interrupted by small, vertical slits that project beams of light into the building. The zinc casing gives the building a lightweight look and creates an elegant interplay between the sky and the water.

With its dynamic sweeping façades, the library is a finely honed exercise in dramatic architectural form, further enhanced by the continuously changing light characteristic of the area.

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