8 unique ways to explore Danish architecture

Photo: RUNI Photopop - VisitAarhus

With the capital Copenhagen holding the title as UNESCO World Capital of Architecture, 2023 is a year of celebrating inspiring buildings around the country. Architecture doesn’t just have to mean looking up while sightseeing, instead it can mean exploring in new and exciting ways.

Fjordenhus in Vejle
Photo: Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann with Studio Olafur Eliasson. Photographer: Anders Sune Berg

Kayak through Fjordenhus

The iconic Fjordenhus building on the Vejle harbor is designed by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. You can see an exhibition of his work in the ground floor and dine at the Michelin-starred Restaurant LYST with their local, everchanging menu. Take in Fjordenhus from a different angle by sailing through the building in a kayak.  

CopenHill or Amager Bakke, the ski slope on top of a power plant in Copenhagen neighborhood Refshaleøen
Photo: Municipality of Copenhagen

Climb up and ski down CopenHill

Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the futuristic CopenHill combines practicalities and fun. The core of the building is a waste-to-energy plant with the world’s best system for purifying smoke and removing harmful gasses. On top of all this, Bjarke Ingels has added a ski slope complete with a ski lift, hiking trails and an after-ski area with an amazing view of the city. You can either bring your own equipment or rent from the ground floor shop. If skiing isn’t thrilling enough, you can also test yourself at the world’s tallest rock climbing wall.


Play in the giant bricks at LEGO House

Another BIG creation, but this time in the home of the brick, Billund. The LEGO House is both a testament to the infinite possibilities of LEGO bricks and an encouragement for the guests to get creative themselves. It is meant to look like 21 overlapping bricks framing an internal, cave-like LEGO Square. The bright colors each represent an element of learning: red is creative, blue is cognitive, green is social and yellow is emotional, so it’s easy to make your way around. 

Aarhus City Hall
Photo: Thomas Nørremark

Enjoy a concert in the Aarhus City Hall

The city hall in Denmark’s second city Aarhus is design by mid-century modern pioneer Arne Jacobsen and is considered a modernist masterpiece. It additionally features interior design by Hans J. Wegner. While it is still an operating city hall, guests can visit for the monthly carillon concerts with renowned musicians from Denmark and abroad.

Danish Architecture Center
Photo: Jesper Værn Jensen

Slide down the BLOX building

BLOX on the Copenhagen waterfront is designed by the Dutch architect firm OMA and is home to the Danish Architecture Center (DAC) and the House of Creative Denmark. It is filled with interesting exhibitions on the past, present and future of Danish architecture. On top of this, it also features a 40-meter slide created by Carsten Höller spinning through the four floors of the building.

The bike lane at the Mærsk Tower and Panum Institute
Photo: Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST - @coaststudio

Zigzag through the Panum complex

The Panum Institute is a part of University of Copenhagen, and they could move into their new buildings in the Copenhagen neighborhood of Nørrebro in 2017. The cobber-clad buildings, including the 15-floor Mærsk Building, are designed C.F. Møller Architects and include an area open to the public on the top floor with panorama views of the city. Another way to take in the building is by bike. SLA Landskabsarkitekter have created the bicycle track swirling in through the buildings and the surrounding park.

A lady running at the rooftop playground Konditaget Lüders in Nordhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen - Copenhagen Media Center

Workout at Konditaget Lüders

24 meters above ground, the Konditag is unlike any other gym. JAJA Architects are behind the park on top of a multi-story car park, which combines Øresund views with cross fit and TRX facilities, trampolines, swings, a 60-eter sprint course and a climbing spiral.

Moesgaard Museum, a short drive from the city of Aarhus in Denmark
Photo: Moesgaard Museum

Have a picnic on the Moesgaard Museum

The prehistory museum Moesgaard is located in the hills south of Aarhus and with its sloping design, it appears to emerge from the landscape. The building is created by Henning Larsen Architects, and the grass clad roof is the perfect place for a picnic.

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