Ragnarock Museum

010 cobe ragnarock exterior 011 cobe ragnarock exterior
From concrete to
culture production

Year: First prize in competition 2011, completed 2016

Client: ROMU

Program: Museum for pop, rock and youth culture

Size: 3,100 m²

The city of Roskilde is home to one of the most iconic cultural events in Denmark, the legendary Roskilde Festival, which triples the population of the city for one week every summer, as 120,000 music lovers arrive from all over the world. Adjacent to the festival grounds lies Musicon,  a post-industrial neighborhood currently dedicated to urban experiments and creativity. Ragnarock Museum is the heart of this creative district. In an almost defiant act of preservation, the aim has been to protect as many of the existing concrete buildings of the area to make sure the roughness and character stays intact. The museum building clicks into place among the existing buildings, almost using them as a stage and a spatial resource for a contemporary landmark.

020 cobe ragnarock exterior
030 cobe ragnarock detail crane
040 cobe ragnarock detail wall

Musicon has played many different roles during the city’s historical development. For a long time it was occupied by Unicon, a factory that used the 250,000 square metre industrial site for concrete production.

050 cobe ragnarock diagram
060 cobe ragnarock exterior

Musicon area, 2010.

070 cobe ragnarock exterior

The same area after the museum addition, 2016.

180 cobe ragnarock exterior
Roskilde –
the city of icons

Roskilde is a key city in the Danish viking empire and home to the cathedral where most Danish kings and queens are buried. Ragnarock is located between Roskilde city center and the site of the annual, legendary Roskilde Festival. The museum is a cultural stepping stone placed in between the city’s historical icons: Roskilde Cathedral, the Viking Ship Museum and the festival grounds.

075 cobe ragnarock exterior
080 cobe ragnarock exterior
090 cobe ragnarock diagram

The existing halls

The existing halls at Musicon have great spatial potential and create a strong identity for the area.

100 cobe ragnarock diagram


The halls are renovated to let in daylight and create a comfortable environment.

110 cobe ragnarock diagram

Communal area

The area is activated by placing all public and common facilities in a village formation inside the halls.

120 cobe ragnarock diagram


The halls are opened up with big gates to ensure maximum interaction with the surrounding area.

130 cobe ragnarock diagram


Three separate building volumes are planned to be plugged into the halls, representing Ragnarock, Roskilde Festival Folk High School and the Roskilde Festival Group.

140 cobe ragnarock diagram

Red carpet

A part of the plaza in front of Ragnarock is designed as a red carpet that connects to Rabalderstræde, the main street of Musicon.

Ragnarock’s exhibition space cantilevers 20 metres across the runner, creating a covered urban living room and entrance area that can serve as a stage for concerts and other public events.

150 cobe ragnarock exterior

With its gold-studded facade, red velvety interior and cantilevered auditorium, the building creates an exciting interplay of old and new, rough and polished, simple and bold that is quintessentially rock ’n’ roll.

160 cobe ragnarock exterior

Our aim with the design was to translate the special energy, image and attitude of rock and pop music into architecture. The 20-meter cantilever guarantees to have a physical impact on anybody standing under it or in it – hovering over the ground in the exhibition. It is an homage to rock and pop stars like Bowie, Hendrix and Jagger.

170 cobe ragnarock detail entrance

The contrasting elements lend character to both the museum and the rest of Musicon, transforming this former concrete factory into a new cultural icon for Roskilde that is deeply rooted in the industrial heritage of the site.

190 cobe ragnarock detail entrance
200 cobe ragnarock exterior

Ragnarock, Denmark’s museum for pop, rock and youth culture, creates a setting for concerts and other public events, outdoors and in.

210 cobe ragnarock exterior concert
220 cobe ragnarock interior crowd
230 cobe ragnarock interior concert
Life inside a guitar
case – how to detail
rock ’n’ roll?
240 cobe ragnarock interior detail
250 cobe ragnarock interior detail

The selection of materials radiates a rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere, from the gold-studded anodized aluminum facade to the vivid red interior, reminiscent of the soft velvet interior of a guitar case.

260 cobe ragnarock interior detail
270 cobe ragnarock interior
280 cobe ragnarock interior
290 cobe ragnarock interior
300 cobe ragnarock interior elders

Location: Roskilde, Denmark

Client: ROMU

Program: Museum for pop, rock and youth culture

Size: 3,100 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2011, completed 2016

Collaborators: MVRDV, LIW Planning, Norconsult, Jesper Kongshaug, B. Nygaard Sørensen, Arup, Transsolar

Awards: Mies van der Rohe Award 2015 Nominee, German Design Award 2018 – Excellent Communications Design Architecture , RENOVER Prisen 2018 Nominee

Team: Agnieszka Krasuska, Antonia Szabo, Christian Sander, Caroline Nagel, Dan Stubbergaard, Eik Bjerregaard, Guillaume Ros Hoffmann, Helen Chen, Hiroshi Kato, Jens Kert Wagner, Morten Andersen, Morten Engel, Oskar Tranum, Rasmus Bernhard Nielsen, Rune Veile, Tabea Treier, Thomas Krarup. Buster Christensen, Doris Goldstein, Fokke Moerel, Francesca Becchi , Jacob van Rijs, Jaap Baselmans, Klaas Hofman, Maria López Calleja, Matias Thomsen, Mette Rasmussen, Nas Alkhaldi, Nicolas Berdon, Rune Veile, Sara Bjelke, Sara Impera

Photographer: Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

Image credits: Please note that we have 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.