Synergy between education, research and commercial activities inspired the choreography of life in the complex.
Because of the small scale of Sonderborg the 3XN architects decided on dividing the large complex into a series of buildings with short gable ends, alternating with atrium buildings.
This concept provides transparency and daylight, and corresponds in scale with the neighbouring harbor typology.
The concept of the Danish University South, Science Park South & Concert Hall, also made it possible to follow the bending coastline, and adhere to the change of level on the site parallel to the coast line. The tube-like buildings of the University South protrude above a parterre floor, mainly fitted with common facilities like library, canteen and students’ club, and also open-up to the public on the harbor promenade.
Most offices, laboratories and work places have an unobstructed view towards the water.
All common facilities are situated at the parterre level making it necessary for students as well as scientists, to “step down” to the restaurant, library, and other shared facilities.
The atrium buildings, not included in the competition brief, were designed by moving the glass wall forward adding tall lightfilled spaces to the traditional comb-structure.
The Concert Hall, added later, was perfect for adapting yet another element.
Because of the adjacent railway station the acoustics were a major concern but the “box-in-box” solved the problem and adhered to the overall concept.
Security is established as a horizontal division with ascent to higher levels requiring key cards. This way the building can be open in the evenings, integrating the concert hall as part of the total building concept.
3XN won the competition in 2002.