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arne jacobsen, aarhus town hall 1937-1942

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aarhus town hall, aarhus, denmark, 1937-1942.
architects: arne jacobsen, 1902-1971, with erik møller, 1909-2002.

portrait of a staircase...

the influence from asplund on jacobsen was never more obvious than in aarhus town hall, the first of his many town halls and a competition win from 1937.

the building is one long tribute to asplund's law courts in gothenburg completed the same year and like the law courts, the town hall is a riot of modernist details, a collage of highly individual elements brought together under a great skylight.

the staircase connects main hall and basement. because of a change of level, the basement becomes a regular office floor further down and jacobsen needed a dignified connection. by placing its negative shape as a kind of geometric ornament in the floor, the staircase becomes the view from the surrounding balconies of the atrium, in effect making the floor an interior facade.

the exceptional floor in the main hall shown here is bog oak - oak trees several thousand years old, dug out of swamps and dryed very, very slowly. the wood is nearly fossilized and extremely strong and heavy. since it is difficult to obtain and work with, bog oak is usually only used for ornamental work. it was used here because of wartime shortages in place of a hardwood floor.

together with the extensive brass detailing, the beech and birch wall cladding, the bog oak floor makes for an interior of warm colours, kept in check by the white concrete skeleton.

more arne jacobsen

more words, yada, yada, yada.

this photo was uploaded with a CC license and may be used free of charge and in any way you see fit.
if possible, please name photographer "SEIER+SEIER".
if not, don't.

View 20 more comments

  1. seier+seier 39 months ago | reply

    it is a fine building :)

  2. victortsu 36 months ago | reply

    16.700 views ! unbelievable.

  3. seier+seier 36 months ago | reply

    on the internet, victor, I don't think it counts. I saw a bad cartoon on youtube the other day with 150 million views :)

  4. victortsu 36 months ago | reply

    It's impossible to compete with youtube. But 16703 views for a picture of a stairwell in denmark... it's astonishing.

  5. seier+seier 36 months ago | reply

    if only it was on youtube and had boobs :)

  6. TheManWhoPlantedTrees 33 months ago | reply

    amazing stream.congratulations on your work.

  7. seier+seier 33 months ago | reply

    thank you, paulo :)

  8. seier+seier 31 months ago | reply

    yes, jacobsen's staircases are great :)

  9. Diana Michaels 26 months ago | reply

    Excellent pattern - I love this one :)

  10. Katie-Rose 17 months ago | reply

    That's gorgeous!

  11. seier+seier 2 months ago | reply

    the stairs are being repared. here are recent photos, not by me:

    Reparation af trappe, Aarhus Rådhus

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