Danish firm Arkitema just won first place in a competition to design the new visitor center and landscape for Hammershus Castle, one of Denmark's most treasured landmarks. To keep the spotlight on the castle, the low-profile visitor center will be skillfully integrated into the terrain, and it will provide stunning views of the 13th century ruins.
The largest medieval castle in Northern Europe, Hammershus has become a major tourist destination on Bornholm, the Danish Island in the Baltic Sea. The roof, which will be built as a level extension of the landscape, will also double as a sight-seeing platform and public space offering stunning views to the castle ruins and rugged coastline. Below, large glass windows also frame spectacular views from inside the visitor center.
“Our proposal subordinates to the nature and allows Hammershus to be the main attraction,” says Arkitema partner and architect, Poul Schülein. “At the same time we exploit the location to create full focus on Hammershus from the visitor center. From the ruin the new visitor center will appear as a contribution to the landscape – an integrated part of nature.”
Inspired by the surrounding landscape, the architects have proposed a simple materials palette: glass windows, wooden floors and locally sourced, thick concrete walls. The $8.2 million proposed visitor center is expected to accommodate 500,000 visitors annually and will also house an exhibition, cafe, and educational rooms.