BIG, Aarhus, BSN7, mixed-use, basin 7, public realm, placemaking, urban design, waterfront, Denmark, courtyard, microclimates, harborfront, promenade, public promenade, public space

BIG’s decision to design the public realm first deviates from the norm, which usually starts with developing private residences and then activating the remaining landscape after residents have settled in. To engage BSN7 with the water’s edge, BIG extends the existing public promenade and then intersects it with a curving secondary promenade that meanders between the water and land. The interstitial spaces give way to a diversity of public programming, including a beach zone, theater, cafes, and restaurants.

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Seven building plots–each varied in shape and size–were then carved out of the site’s remaining spaces. Each of the building volumes vary in height and shape to create visual interest and are modified to create desirable and comfortable microclimates. The placement and design of the buildings were also optimized to minimize noise pollution. A large courtyard space is located in the center of each building complex so as to provide a communal, but more private, space for residents.

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Images via BIG