The project includes a comprehensive restoration of the old hothouse in the Botanic Garden in Aarhus originally designed by C.F. Møller Architects.
In the restoration the palm house will become a new botanical knowledge centre, at the same time as the complex is extended with a new, 18 metres high tropical hothouse, in which the public can go exploring among the tree-tops.
The existing snail-shaped hothouse was well adapted to its surroundings, and it has been important to bear the existing architectural values in mind when designing the new one.
The new hothouse also uses the organic form, which is, at the same time, based on energy-conserving design solutions and on a knowledge of materials, indoor climate and technology.
Advanced calculations have ensured that form and energy consumption interact in the best possible manner.
The domed shape and the building’s orientation in relation to the points of the compass have been chosen because this precise format gives the smallest surface area coupled with the largest volume, as well as the best possible sunlight incidence in winter, and the least possible in summer.
The support structure consists of 10 steel arches, which fan out around a longitudinal and a transverse axis, creating a net of rectangles of varying sizes.
FormTL planned and designed a cover for these arches made mainly of double-layered ETFE cushions, which are affixed with biaxially bent profiles due to their complex structure.
On the south-facing side, the cushions used were made with three layers, two of which were printed. Through changes in pressure, the relative positions of these printed foils can be adjusted.
This can reduce or increase, as desired, the translucence of the cushions, changing the light and heat input of the building.
Location: Aarhus, Denmark
Architects: C.F. Møller
Engineering: Søren Jensen Rådgivende Ingeniører
Landscape: C.F. Møller
Size: 3300 m2 (1242 m2new tropical hothouse and 2071 m2 renovation and rebuild of existing hothouse)
Competition: 1. prize in architectural competition. 2009
Client: The University of Aarhus by Danish University and Property Agency