This week, Fjordenhus, the first building designed by Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, will open in Vejle, Denmark. The project, which was completed after years of research and collaboration with the architectural team at Studio Olafur Eliasson, will serve as the new headquarters for business and investment company Kirk Kapital. Otherwise known as Fjord House, the structure, which sits in the harbor of Vejle Fjord, comprises four intersecting cylinders with sections carved out to create parabolic negative spaces. “We experimented from early on with how to create an organic building that would respond to the ebb and flow of the tides, to the shimmering surface of the water, changing at different times of the day and of the year,” says Eliasson.
Rising 92 feet high, Fjordenhus is almost immediately noticeable when strolling along Havneøen, a mixed-use residential and commercial area currently under construction. A footbridge connects the harbor to the building, which is clad in custom-glazed brick. Eliasson’s team also designed custom lighting fixtures, furniture, and works of art for the project. “Throughout the process, we were very attentive to the choreography and sequencing of spaces, using modulation of light and acoustics to heighten all of the building’s sensory aspects,” says Sebastian Behmann, head of design at Studio Olafur Eliasson.
Since Fjordenhus’s completion, Eliasson, who designed the 2007 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion with Snøhetta co-founder Kjetil Thorsen and a LEGO-inspired installation at the High Line in 2015, has worked on similarly large-scale projects in France and Ethiopia through Studio Other Spaces, an art and architecture office that he established with Behmann in 2014.