green design, eco design, sustainable design, Aarhus, Denmark, Moesgdaard Museum, Henning Larsen Architects, submerged architecture, grassy roof, sloping roof

The wedge-shaped museum was designed to nestle right into a preexisting hill, utilizing the submersion to naturally insulate part of the structure and save on climate control costs. Although partially submerged, much of the museum is made up of floor to ceiling glass walls to allow natural light into the galleries. Several skylights along the roof line bring even more natural light inside, including an extension that creates an observation deck overlooking Aarhus Bay.

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The smooth and angular concrete structure spans three storeys, with exhibitions focusing on the evolution of man, burial rituals of the area, and a recreation of Viking village life native to Denmark. Atop the museum, the thickly planted grassy lawn echoes the Viking connection to nature, while also creating an additional space for museum guests to enjoy the outdoors. The hill-like shape also pays tribute to the Viking burial mound, the history of which can be found inside the museum. The unique property of a usable roof draws visitors to the museum year round, adjusting from summer lazing to wintertime fun, making both the Moesgaard Museum and its grounds a place of enjoyment in any season.

+ Henning Larsen Architects

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