Ordrupgaard Museum

010 cobe ordrupgard museum interior 020 cobe ordrupgard museum detail
The invisible new

Year: Competition 2012

Client: Ordrupgaard Museum

Program: Museum extension

Size: 1,685 m²

Ordrupgaard is a museum located almost secretly in a forest north of Copenhagen at the Jægersborg Deer Park. This project creates an underground extension to the museum which holds one of Scandinavia’s largest Impressionist collections. Instead of seeing the extension as an underground expansion, we see it as a valley with strong connections to the garden above. The roof is designed as a crackled pattern similar to a pointillist painting. The galleries break through the roof and become part of the roof composition – just as their openings draw in light to the spaces below. The roof surface thus becomes a garden in the park and the visitor, through their journey, becomes a part of the pointillist picture.

030 cobe ordrupgard museum collage

Ordrupgaard Museum houses French Impressionist art and Danish art from the Golden Age with an exquisite collection of paintings by artists such as Monet, Gauguin and Hammershøi.

Revealing the
040 cobe ordrupgard museum iceberg

Like an iceberg, you never see the full extent of the museum.

040 cobe ordrupgard museum alice

A design based on curiosity and discovery.

Many of the museum’s works are currently in storage due to lack of space. The extension creates an underground expansion of Ordrupgaard, which can accommodate previous stored works, so the museum’s international collection can be fully exhibited.

050 cobe ordrupgard museum collage

How do you make an underground museum extension to an already iconic museum complex?

The new extension is placed among several iconic buildings. Instead of creating a competitive monolith, we wanted to create an extension that ties the existing buildings together and creates new connections within the museum and the surrounding park.

060 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

The extension is placed underground as a well defined volume.

070 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

Inside, smaller galleries provide intimate spaces for the art collections.

080 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

A roof is placed on top with the galleries sticking through to let in natural daylight.

090 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

The roof is designed as a garden with flowers and skylights that grants view between inside and outside.

Perceived as a village in a valley the houses provide intimate art galleries and the space between makes up the city streets with plazas and circulation. The skylights let in natural daylight and the roof creates a new mosaic garden.

100 cobe ordrupgard museum model 110 cobe ordrupgard museum model

The size of the galleries is based on the Paul Gauguin room from Odrupgaard’s original gallery. The skylights of the galleries are adjusted to create spatial and light variation. The corners of the galleries are rounded to create a soft comfortable interior.

121 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

Collection rooms of 6m × 8 m.

122 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

Tapered to adjust to the amount of light required in collection rooms and in the circulation area.

123 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

Rounded to facilitate circulation and softer daylight.

124 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram
020 cobe ordrupgard museum detail

The galleries are placed freely in the valley thereby creating natural inner streets through the underground expansion. Here sculptures are exhibited and visitors can rest and enjoy the view to the outside.

222 cobe ordrupgard museum model

Benches are placed next to the gallery entrances making it possible to sit and observe life on the street.

Each gallery has its own dedicated collection of paintings. To create the perfect lighting for the paintings, the houses point towards the sky in different directions. They thus become iconic figures with individual sizes and designs. In this way, each gallery gets its own composition of light.

130 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram
140 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

The unique composition of light in each gallery is designed specifically to cater to the individual requirements of each period piece. Lighting within each gallery is kept constant through filters and extra lighting, while the daylight in between the galleries varies depending on time of day and year.

141 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

Daylight principles

Where painting
becomes park
151 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

The Ordrupgaard Museum is surrounded by a series of different and varied gardens.

161 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

The new extension has its own condensed garden which functions as a new garden within the existing park.

Inspired by an Impressionist painting the beams of the roof form a crackled pattern similar to Pointillist painting techniques from the Impressionism.

170 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

Where painting becomes park

180 cobe ordrupgard museum map

Walking on the roof looking into the valley becomes part of the experience. The galleries break through the roof surface as part of the roof composition, while their openings draw light into the spaces below.

190 cobe ordrupgard museum exterior

The mosaic pattern is created through a composition of open and closed panels. These panels mix reeds and flowers, transparent and translucent glass as well as water. In some places the mosaic pixels rise and become seating elements. All contributes to a playful landscape both above and underground.

200 cobe ordrupgard museum collage

Walking under the garden creates a poetic experience like walking thought the forest.

201 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram
202 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

An archipelago of underground exhibition cocoons emerges beneath the Impressionistic landscape.

203 cobe ordrupgard museum diagram

The entrance to the new extension is through a spectacular staircase staging the experience that lies ahead and the drama of the underground gallery space.

210 cobe ordrupgard museum interior
220 cobe ordrupgard museum model

Location: Charlottenlund, Denmark, Competition

Client: Ordrupgaard Museum

Program: Museum extension

Size: 1,685 m²

Year: Competition 2012

Collaborators: MVRDV, Rambøll, Topotek1, Bartenbach LichtLabor

Team: Dan Stubbergaard, Mateusz Mastalski, Rasmus Hjortshøj, Thomas Krarup

Image Credits: Please note that we had used a small number of images for which the copyright holders could not be identified. In these cases it has been our assumption that such images belong to the public domain. If you claim ownership of any of the images presented and have not been properly identified, please notify Cobe and we will make a formal acknowledgement.