Kulturværftet in Elsinore was converted from an old shipyard into a cultural centre between 2008 and 2010. The intention was to retain the identity and historical importance the shipyard had for the city, while creating new opportunities for supporting a diverse cultural life. It has now become an internationally recognised attraction. AART architects has designed the cultural centre.
The users of Kulturværftet experience the building as a cultural meeting hub that offers inspiring settings for collaboration, knowledge sharing and social diversity and inclusion, where the architecture stimulates the senses and creates a sense of community.
Identity & Branding
With more than 750,000 visitors per year, Kulturværftet is a public success. As the centre of the new culture harbour, it has given the city a new sense of pride and identity. It has created a new rallying point for locals and visitors and put the city on the cultural world map – proclaimed by New York Times as one of the world’s must-see places in 2014. The architecture of Kulturværftet has thus contributed to branding Elsinore as a modern, culture-bearing city. With more than 10,000 mentions in the press since its inauguration in 2010, it is, according to AART Architects, among the most talked about cultural centres in Denmark and has attracted major cultural events like the Crown Prince Couple’s Award and the world’s largest design award, Index: Award. Kulturværftet also features one of Denmark’s most used libraries measured by inhabitants. A library that as just one of two European libraries has been awarded the ranking ‘exceptional’ - the highest ranking and recommendation bestowed by Library Ranking Europe.
Indoor Climate & User Experience
According to an evaluation of the social performance of Kulturværftet, an anthropological study made by AART Architects in collaboration with the Alexandra Institute, the users find that the architecture stimulates their senses and gives them a sense of community. The users are excited about the various functions offered by the building, including in particular the reading area called ‘the Horizon’, which the study shows is the most popular place in the building. Here, visitors can relax, read or enjoy the view of the sea and Kronborg Castle. The employees at Kulturværftet also express a strong feeling of co-ownership of the place after the renovation. The evaluation also shows that the users think that Kulturværftet realises its ambition of symbolising Elsinore’s transformation from an industrial to a modern cultural city. The visitors are generally very satisfied with the facilities and view the building as a cultural meeting place that offers inspiring settings for collaboration, knowledge sharing and social diversity and inclusion.
About the case
Kulturværftet was transformed from a shipyard into a cultural centre between 2008 and 2010. The vision was to retain the identity and historical importance the shipyard had for the city, while creating new opportunities for supporting a diverse cultural life in Elsinore. The juxtaposition of new and old is strong as a contrast between the old building stock, the view of the historical waterfront and Kronborg Castle and the new crystalline building envelope made of glass and sheet steel. After the renovation, Kulturværftet houses the city’s new main library, a cafe, a shipyard museum, exhibition and conference facilities as well as theatre and concert halls. The vision of supporting art, culture and experiences has been truly successful. The facilities allow you to explore, empathise and unfold. Kulturværftet has become a public success and a main driver behind Elsinore’s cultural development.