Danish practice 3XN Architects has unveiled its design for a new dwelling complex in the district of Randersvej in Aarhus, Denmark. The so-called “La Tour” will encompass a historic brick water tower, built in 1907.
The circular complex will house 300 apartments, rising 312 feet to become the fourth tallest building in the country, though only marginally shorter than the city’s cathedral which stands at 315 feet.
Despite being based in Copenhagen, 3XN has been working in Aarhus for more than 10 years, having seen two previous projects constructed there already. As for its latest scheme, the city council has so far granted preliminary approval with the public now able to comment on the plans. In a press release, 3XN stated that it anticipates approval for the 31-story complex this summer.
“La Tour responds to its specific location and will contribute to the surrounding neighborhood on many levels and in a positive way,” said 3XN Founder and Creative Director Kim Herforth Nielsen.
La Tour was conceived by 3XN with an aim to produce “low cost high quality housing, suitable for young people and families.” In doing so, a rounded form, massing an array of box-like dwellings, expands vertically to form the tower. Such an approach allows the building to gently blend in with its surroundings and not inflict an abrasive linear aesthetic on the skyline.
“We paid particular attention to the building scale, so that it is both distinctive and visible in the city, but also embraces the local environment in one fluid motion,” continued Nielsen. “La Tour will forge an identity in the urban context. Visible in the distance from many parts of the city, it will become a part of the city skyline, serving as a point of orientation.”
The structure’s form also uses terracing to break the threshold between the “flat volumes” in the vicinity and the “urban high rise typology.” The architects used the historic water tower as a contextual placeholder around which the new building wraps in an effort to blend old and new.
The Aarhus water tower, built in 1907 (Courtesy Wikipedia)