Aarhus Ø is the whole city’s new spot for experiences

Posted on Sep 15 2014

Kilde Lotte Pape

Today mayor Jacob Bundsgaard and Bjarke Ingels from BIG have presented a development plan for the area, Basin 7, at the new waterfront of Aarhus. The area has a fantastic potential as a gathering point for the whole city, and forms the basis of future developments for the whole area.

Maritime allotments, a beach zone, a theater and winding streets – these are just some of the elements that are going to make the area around Basin 7 at Aarhus Ø a new spot for exciting experiences. This was revealed today, when a brand new development plan for the area was presented. The collaboration regarding the development plan is in itself innovative for the development of the waterfront in Aarhus. We are dealing with collaboration between the city of Aarhus and a private team, consisting of BIG and Gehl Architects among others. The team had the assignment to rethink 7 themes for the area, including urban space & landscape, scale & architecture and the compositions of the residents.      

Optimal surroundings for urban space activities

Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard is thrilled that such competent capacities have offered their knowledge of international urban space development projects in collaboration with local operators, which can be included in the realization of the plans: “According to the plan, the urban space activities have been thought through first, so that they are positioned ideally when it comes to wind, sun etc. and situated towards the attractive water basin. On that basis the remaining building plots for living quarters etc. are moulded and adapted. This creates optimal surroundings for urban life at Aarhus Ø” says Jacob Bundsgaard.            

The new development plan is also a great bonus for sailing in Aarhus especially reagarding future events such as ISAF 2018 World Championship in Aarhus. According to Thomas Capitani, director of Sailing Aarhus, this is a really exciting initiative. 

"The new plans support the vision we have of showcasing sail racing to a wider audience by letting people experiencing sailing up close. It will bring sailing closer to the people of Aarhus and will frame a spot for tousands of people to recreate but also to experience elite sailing at an event such as ISAF World Championship in 2018” states Thomas Capitani, CEO of Sailing Aarhus.

ISAF 2018 World Championship in Aarhus will be held in August at Aarhus Ø and is arranged by Sailing Aarhus in corporation with the city of Aarhus, Sport Event Denmark, The Danish Sailing Association and Region Midtjylland. 

Families with children also want to live in the city

The development plan has a particular focus on supporting and stimulating the families interest in living at and using Aarhus Ø, and that is really interesting according to alderman of Technical & Environmental services Kristian Würtz:

“Right now there is a global tendency for families with children wanting to live in the city center, and we see that same tendency in Aarhus. That is why we need to have housing types and activities that meet the families’ wishes. The development plan addresses these whishes by creating closed courtyard areas for playing and staying in safe surroundings and by establishing evocative winding streets, as we know it from ‘Øgadekvarteret’. Finally, there is a focus on cultural offers, for example theater, which is something that makes it attractive to live in the city.”   

The plan is also to establish a series of maritime allotments with small bathing houses so that other people besides the residents can use the area as well and take ownership of the activities and the on-going development according to the principal of the already existing gardens in the Ø-garden.   

Local developer is looking forward to the realization

Local urban developer Rune Kilden has participated in the process as a part of the private team. He is especially thrilled that the development plan is based on specific plans and players that wish to be a part of the realization of the projects:

“The strategy for the urban life is simply that cultural life, restaurants and sports have to be a part of driving the urban development, which we have already had good experience with from ‘Strandbaren’ at Aarhus Ø. Besides, the plan is so robust that it has the capacity to include new players and activities as demands and usage needs change over time” he explains.

The water basin gets a central location

Basin 7 is also the area where a harbor bath donated by the Salling Fonds is to be established. The future harbor bath is intended as the central place in the development of the area so that the harbor bath and other activities in the area to a great extent “melt together” and create a unified promenade of exciting experiences. A process is now in progress, during which the plan will be presented in detail for a series of stakeholders at a dialog meeting. Afterwards the development plan has to be approved by the city council of Aarhus in preparation for tender and sale of building rights for living-quarters and businesses in the area.