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Viborg Landsarkiv – A provincial archive in the middle of fields

Graphic Concrete

By Graphic Concrete

In the middle of the Danish field landscape rises a light, drawing-like building of 4800m2. The viewer has to look twice. Is it a real building or a huge drawing?

The original assignment of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects was to design an archive that would fit a large number of books and files. Features important for national archives brought additional challenge. Special attention needed to be paid to temperature management and the visual appearance of the building as a traditional archive building. "The new archive needed to be sustainable, simple, modern and minimalist. We also wanted to add a piece of art to express the purpose of the building" explains Rasmus Kierkegaard, a partner of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. 


"Our thoughts of a piece of art grew bigger and bigger – in the end we decided to decorate the entire facade of the building with a large bookcase-like picture. “Graphic Concrete was great for communicating our idea" Kierkegaard continues. "We also knew an artist who could translate our vision to the concrete surface. Our customers, KPC Byg A/S, supported our idea from the start and the pattern fits perfectly into the box-like, simple architecture of the building" he adds. 

The challenges of the project were a small budget and various technical aspects such as room humidity and the achievement of the right indoor temperature for documents. The biggest challenge, however, was to create a warehouse that would mean something to people.


"The end result corresponded our plans to almost 100%. The artistic plan changed several times during the process, but our cooperation with the artist, Grethe Sørensen and the developer, KPC worked seamlessly. We finally managed to create something special from a simple building” Kierkegaard concludes with satisfaction.

The Viborg Provincial Archives is an excellent example of how Graphic Concrete can be used to highlight the purpose of the building and to create depth for the building facade. When looking close-by, the facade shows dots at different distances, but when viewed further away, the facade resembles a three-dimensional bookcase. It is for these reasons that the building will surely be remembered by every passer-by.




Location: Vennershåbvej, Viborg, Denmark

Architect: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Contractor: KPC BYG A/S

Element Factory: Confac A/S

Year of construction: 2015

Photographer: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen

Pattern: Graphic Concrete, Unique reproduction pattern, Grethe Sørensen


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