Open Platform and JAJA Architects win the competition for a new parking house in Aarhus

new parking house

Danish architecture studios Open Platform (OP) and JAJA Architects, together with Rama Studio and Søren Jensen Engineers, have won the open competition for a new parking house in Aarhus, Denmark. The 19,300 m2 construction is Denmark’s first wooden parking house, and it will as such contribute to reaching Denmark’s goal to become climate neutral in 2050.

The South-harbour neighbourhood in Aarhus is under construction, and the new parking house will play an active role in the development of the future district. A unanimous jury highlights the winning proposal for “[…] in an exemplary way [to illustrate] a sheer balance between the practical and the poetic.

Furthermore, the jury report states: “Based on a simple logistical solution, the proposal’s beautifully worked spatial qualities are enriched by well-integrated event and activity options. The parking house is a strong contribution to achieve a more creative and greener urban district.”

The South-harbour neighbourhood needs green oases, too
By placing a compact parking facility on the north-eastern half of the site, the project makes space for a green and creative oasis with small pavilions, where social and cultural activities can unfold. The greenery and the paths of the park continue onto the parking house façade where they transform into a vertical garden of green espaliers and active balconies.

”In this project, we minimize the building’s footprint and work with wooden construction and bound carbon. Together with the planting of a new urban forest, we secure Aarhus’ contribution to a life-long CO2-balance”, says architect Niels Lund Petersen, partner in OP. Besides from serving as a space for tranquility, the trees in the new green oasis can help cleanse the ground on the polluted site. Furthermore, the park can actively improve urban climate resilience in connection with i.e. cloudbursts or heatwaves.

A living parking house supporting new mobility
Thanks to its central location, in close proximity to the city center, the harbor, and the central station, the new parking house will be an attractive place to leave the car outside of the city and instead continue the journey on foot, by bike or even by scooter.

“Mobility is much more than transportation from A to B. We don’t just consider the new parking house as a container for cars, but as an actual mobility hub, where all modes of transport are accommodated in the design, and especially the green ones”, explains architect and urban planner Jakob Steen Christensen, partner in JAJA Architects, who has designed several parking houses together with Søren Jensen and Rama Studio.

At ground floor the team proposes facilities supporting green transportation and transport sharing, such as charging stations, cargo bike rentals, carpooling stops and parking spots dedicated to car sharing vehicles. In time, these facilities can grow onto the upper floors. Facts about the project:

• The structure of the parking house will be made from beams and columns from cross-laminated timber (CLT), which has a significantly higher strength than regular glulam.
• The parking house will cover a total area of 19,300 m2 over six floors with approximately 17,500 m2 dedicated to a total of 700 parking spots.
• The parking house will be a hub for activity, creativity and socializing and will connect to the existing infrastructure on the site such as the highline, Kulkransporet.

• The project contains 2,000 m2 of public functions such as a gym, gallery, and café. Of this area, 300 m2 are located in the pavilions, 300 m2 are distributed on the staircases and balconies of the facade, and the last 1,400 m2 are placed on the ground floor and first floor levels of the parking house.
• Big parts of the project are unheated, limiting the environmental impact to primarily stem from building materials, lighting and the operation of the authorizing system. Source by Open Platform and JAJA Architects and images Courtesy of

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *