Moesgaard Museum

Updated 26.07.22 |
Ulla Michael

Photo credit: Hufton Crow

Uniquely located in Skåde Bakker south of Aarhus, Moesgaard Museum offers a wide range of alternative museum experiences. In 2014, the museum of archaeology and ethnography inaugurated the new exhibition building which is designed by Henning Larsen Architects in partnership with Kristine Jensen Landscape.

Moesgaard Museum is a popular attraction which has added to Aarhus’ cultural life. After the inauguration of the museum, visitor numbers increased sevenfold during the first year. This success is of great financial value to Aarhus, contributing to increased revenue of the hotel and restaurant industry since the museum helps attract visitors and tourists to the city.

Branding, Economics & Identity

Since the inauguration of the new exhibition building, Moesgaard Museum has become an international attraction. This is evident from the sevenfold increase in visitor numbers during the first year after the inauguration, with 95,000 visitors in 2014 and more than 517,000 visitors in 2015, as presented in the museum publication 'Årets gang på Moesgaard Museum 2015' (Moesgaard Museum 2015).

The architecture of the building and a new scenographic exhibition concept help attract visitors from all over Denmark and abroad. As many as 74 % of the museum visitors come from places other than Aarhus and therefore often choose to stay overnight in the city of Aarhus. According to Aarhus Municipality, the success of the museum attracts tourists and visitors to Aarhus, thus increasing the revenue of hotels, transport and restaurants in the city.

Recreation & Accessibility

The new museum building is an upgrade to Moesgaard Museum which has gained more space and optimised exhibition facilities. The open roof surface is a platform for diverse outdoor activities and can be visited without a ticket. According to Moesgaard Museum, coming here just to enjoy the view, take a walk on the roof or use the roof as toboggan slope during the winter months has become a destination in itself.

Photo of Moesgaard Museum by Henning Larsen Architects. Photo credit: Jens Markus Lindhe.
Photo credit: Jens Markus Lindhe

About the Case

The rectangular roof surface of Moesgaard Museum grows out of the landscape of Skåde Bakker and can be spotted all the way from the ocean. In the summer, the green areas and characteristic terraces of the new exhibition building are used for a variety of activities, such as picnic, barbecue, music, lectures and Midsummer Eve bonfire.

The heart of the museum is the foyer which houses the ticket office, museum shop and the publicly available cafe. Through the large glass panels, visitors can enjoy the view of the Bay of Aarhus. The inside of the building is designed as a varied landscape inspired by archaeological excavations uncovering the history layer by layer. As explorers of time and space, museum visitors can move around the building through exhibitions and scientific research. The old manor previously housing the museum exhibitions is now used for administration, workshops, offices and teaching facilities for the university students in Aarhus.

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