The green ascending roof alone draws everyone’s attention to it. It’s a powerful visual architectural landmark in the undulating landscape of Skade, south of Aarhus in Denmark. The 16,000-square-meter sized Moesgaard Museum was designed by the Danish Studio Henning Larsen Architects in cooperation with Kristine Jendens Tegnestue. The rectangular leafy roof grows organically out of the landscape. The foyer with café, museum shop and cash registers is conceived as the heart of the building. Through massive windows visitors have an overwhelming view of the Bay of Aarhus. At the center a stairway brings the visitors to the exhibition floors and through the installation of a special “family” in which the exhibition is integrated. Seven reproductions of life-sized hominids from Lucy to the Flores Men stand on the stairs. The various levels are arranged like a terraced landscape, inspired by archaeological excavations that reveal their treasures layer by layer.
The combination of science, technology and new paths in the presentation of artefacts is a unique feature of the Moesgard Museum. The sustainable approach of Henning Larsen architects is apparent in the geometry of the building. With every square meter utilized to capacity, the green roof significantly lowers the museum’s air conditioning energy consumption because the meadow absorbs the warmth. The roof inclined toward the south preserves the exhibition works and rooms from direct sunlight. An elaborate system of glass walls and narrow light inlets through the roof keeps the need for artificial light to a minimum. Series Starck 3 and Vero Duravit products are installed in every sanitary facility.