Dokk1: a new media space in Aarhus

Did you drive by the waterfront and wonder what that huge building just at the mouth of the river will turn into? Or do you want an example of how the city thinks about media layers in new building projects? The answer in both cases is: Look at Dokk1, Urban Mediaspace Aarhus. Here, Dokk1’s Sidsel Bech-Petersen gives you a very brief introduction to it all.



As a part of the project Urban Mediaspace Aarhus, the City of Aarhus will build the new Mediaspace – Dokk1 – on Aarhus harbour by the mouth of the river. Dokk1 will open during the Summer 2015 and it will be Scandinavia’s largest public library and represents a new generation of modern hybrid libraries.

A hybrid library space
The leading idea about the building is that the library space is a covered urban space – and this space is for people – not for books. In this urban space there will be many opportunities for experience, learning, activity and contemplation. One of the core values behind the project is to create a building that bridges citizens, technology and knowledge. Therefore technology has played a central role right from the beginning of the project.

Digital surfaces
The building is prepared in every way to incorporate technology. There will be a number of large digital surfaces that will show the life of the building: what is going on in the building and inspiration for the citizens. There will not be a big permanent media facade or media installation outside the building. But inside we are preparing for a lot of installations that will change over time. These changing installations should reflect new ways of using technology in society and in research.

The digital layer in the building
There will also be technology that supports the connection between the physical and the digital library. This will not happen only by installations in physical space – there will also be a digital layer in the building. This could be accessed by users on their own devices when they are in the building. This gives them an opportunity to connect and meet other citizens, ideas, inspiration etc.

So – we are very exited about opening this new hybrid space for the citizens. The purpose of new media in Dokk1 will be to expose users to new technology, invite them in and make the invisible visible. It is also about giving the space to the citizens and let them leave traces, inspiration and information for other users.

Read more on Urban Mediaspace’s website or see the video below – an interview made with Project Manager Marie Østergård at the biennale in 2012.

Marie Østegård from Media Architecture Biennale on Vimeo.