Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson has completed his first building – a fortress-like office in the Vejle Fjord in Denmark, called Fjordenhus.

The building rises from the water in the harbour of the city of Vejle. It is accessed across a footbridge, with a subterranean passage also connecting the building’s basement to the dockside.

The footbridge leads into the building’s public ground floor, which offers views out across the harbour and is decorated with site-specific artworks created by Eliasson.

Fjordenhus’ unique form was created to reference the environment of the Vejle Fjord.

“we would like to build a working environment for the foundation that we have, we would like to emphasise the qualities that are important to us: nature, light, the weather, the seasons and the Vejle Fjord,” said Eliasson.

“We actually asked the client whether we could build in the water and take on an ephemeral language, an organic language, that might be a starting point for the design,” continued Eliasson.

The building’s geometric form is made of four intersecting circles. Each of these cylinders has voids carved out of them, which are circular at one end and elliptical at the other. Partially glazed, arch-shaped openings are also cut from these volumes.

Built around a concrete structure, the building’s inner and outer walls are built from 970,000 bricks. The artist chose 15 different hues of unglazed brick, along with blue, green and silver glazed bricks.

Each of the external facades has a different combination of bricks depending on the light that it will receive, with the glazed blue bricks used more frequently near the base and blue bricks more often at the top of the building.

The internal spaces also have combinations of bricks specific to the room’s uses. For example, only grey and silver bricks are used in the stairwells.

Hollow ventilation bricks are incorporated into the internal facades to regulate sound and temperature.

Photos © Anders Sune Berg









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