Musholm Holiday Centre

Updated 31.03.20 |
Of:
Signe Moeslund Mains

Photo credit: AART architects

The extension of Musholm shows how architecture can improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by accommodating rather than eliminating diversity. With its social and innovative architecture, the holiday and sports centre sets a new agenda in the important public debate. Behind the innovative accessibility design is AART architects in collaboration with Keingart.

“Musholm is groundbreaking and unique in several ways, and is perhaps the only building complex in the Nordic region that effortlessly integrates the accessibility requirements in the architecture in a natural and beautiful way. It is a rare building complex that makes a virtue of creating beautiful spaces for everybody and new physical opportunities for people with impaired mobility without flaunting it.” Slagelse Municipality Building Award 2015

Accessibility & Tourism

By differentiating the experience of accessibility, Musholm challenges the traditional perception of accessible architecture. The centre shows that accessible solutions can easily add new qualities to the experience of buildings and urban spaces. The sports and holiday centre has been a success ever since it opened in the autumn of 2015, and this manifests in great visitor numbers and lots of positive feedback from the users of the centre. 

Normally, I bring a helper everywhere I go. Here in the centre, he can just drop me off at the main entrance and do something else. There are no steps or doors I cannot open. Having that freedom means a lot. And now I can even practice my sport here thanks to the hall.” Visitor, 27 year-old wheelchair user, Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten 3th October 2015 
 
The extension of Musholm clearly demonstrates how architecture can make a social difference and create economic development for a region. With its new multi-purpose hall and holiday homes, Musholm has become a place for both families and large sports events, and VisitVestsjælland expects the holiday and sports centre to boost international tourism in the region by about 10 %. That corresponds to estimated growth in tourism revenue of DKK 35 million a year and means the extension will have paid itself back after just three years.

Branding

Musholm strengthens the narrative of the Danish Muscular Dystrophy Foundation as a forward-looking disability organisation. The centre has been elected most universal building by The International Association of Universal Design and highlighted across the world as a breakthrough in accessible architecture, from the Danish Pavilion during the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro to the International Venice Biennale of Architecture the same year.

According to Infomedia, the project was mentioned more than 400 times in the Danish media during the first year after the inauguration, corresponding to more than DKK 5,000,000.

Photo of Musholm Holiday Centre by AART architects. Photo creit: Muskelsvindfonden, Søren Holm.
Photo creit: Muskelsvindfonden, Søren Holm.

About the case 

Musholm Holiday Centre is situated by the Great Belt in Korsør and is recognised as the world’s most accessible holiday and sports centre for people with disabilities. The centre was extended from 2014-2015 based on an ambition to provide ideal settings for sports and enriching nature experiences for people with and without disabilities.

The actual extension of the centre has two sections, including a large multi-purpose hall with shared functions, such as a cafe, conference facilities and foyer, as well as 24 holiday homes. The multi-hall is located at the heart of the centre, with the life and activities placed around it like ripples in the water, oriented towards the holiday homes. The extension has provided Musholm with ample opportunities for exercise and joining communities. 

Built in concrete and cladded in zinc and cedar wood, the multi-purpose hall and holiday homes blend perfectly into the scenic landscape and interrelate with the existing holiday homes from 1998. The holiday and sports centre offers a variety of activities, such as a climbing wall and a cable lift for wheelchair users, and a sky lounge is situated on top of the centre offering a spectacular view of the bay and the Great Belt Bridge.

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