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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Sustainable Hothouse in Møllevejen, Denmark by C. F. Møller Architects

August 17th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: C. F. Møller Architects

Aarhus University Hothouse in the Botanical Garden – a Sustainable Hothouse

C. F. Møller Architects, in co-operation with Søren Jensen Rådgivende Ingeniørfirma, has won the architectural competition for a new hothouse in Aarhus Botanic Garden. Sustainable design, new materials and advanced computer technology went into the creation of the hothouse’s organic form.

Aerial View

  • Architect: C. F. Møller Architects
  • Name of Project: Sustainable Hothouse
  • Location: Møllevejen, Århus C, Denmark
  • Client: Aarhus University by Danish University and Property Agency
  • Engineering: Søren Jensen Rådgivende Ingeniører

Main access view

  • Landscape: C. F. Møller Architects
  • Size: 3300 m2 (1242 m2 new tropical hothouse and 2071 m2 renovation and rebuild of existing hothouse
  • Year: 2009-2012
  • Competition year: 2008
  • Prizes: 2009 1. prize in architectural competition


Inside new palmhouse

The snail-shaped hothouse in the Botanic Garden in Aarhus is a national icon in hothouse architecture. It was designed in 1969 by C. F. Møller Architects, and is well adapted to its surroundings. Accordingly, it was important to bear the existing architectural values in mind when designing the new hothouse.

Inside new palmhouse

“The competition sought an independent and distinctive new palm house, but it was essential for us to ensure that the new building would function well in interplay with the old one,” says Tom Danielsen, architect and partner with C. F. Møller Architects.

C. F. Møller Architects Partners

The organic form and the large volume, in which the public can go exploring among the tree-tops, present botany and a journey through the different climate zones in a way which will make the new hothouse in Aarhus a future attraction in a pan-European class in hothouse architecture.

Cross section palmhouse & existing

Energy design
The design of the new hothouse is based on energy-conserving design solutions and on a knowledge of materials, indoor climate and technology.

Using advanced calculations, the architects and engineers have optimised their way to the building’s structure, ensuring that its form and energy consumption interact in the best possible manner and make optimal use of sunlight. The domed shape and the building’s orientation in relation to the points of the compass have been chosen because this precise format gives the smallest surface area coupled with the largest volume, as well as the best possible sunlight incidence in winter, and the least possible in summer.

East elevation

Botanical knowledge centre
The total project also includes a comprehensive restoration of the old hothouse, in which the palm house will become a new botanical knowledge centre aimed at the general public, at the same time as the complex is extended with the new tropical hothouse. The project is expected to be completed in 2012.


EllipSects Cushions exploded

C. F. Møller Architects

C. F. Møller Architects is one of Scandina­via’s oldest and largest architectural practices. Our work involves a wide range of expertise that covers programme analysis, town planning, master plan­ning, all architectural services including landscape architecture, as well as the development and design of building components.


Functional plan Hothouse

Simplicity, clarity and unpretentiousness, the ideals that have guided our work since the practice was established in 1924, are continually re-interpreted to suit individual projects, always site-specific and based on international trends and regional characteristics.


North elevation

Over the years, we have won a large number of national and international competitions and awards. Our work has been exhibited locally as well as inter­nationally at places like RIBA in London, the Venice Biennale, the Danish Architecture Centre and the Danish Cultural Institute in Beijing.


Partial section

A COMMON ARCHITECTURAL GOAL | C. F. Møller Ar­chitects was founded by the now deceased Prof. C. F. Møller. Today the firm is a limited company, owned by nine partners: Tom Danielsen, Klavs Hyttel, Anna Maria Indrio, Lars Kirkegaard, Mads Mandrup, Mads Møller, Klaus Toustrup, Julian Weyer and Lone Wiggers. The partnership undertakes the day-to-day management and comprises the company’s board of directors.


Section palmhouse

C. F. Møller Architects has a long tradition for internal and external cooperation where all parties to a project work towards a common architectural goal. Innovation and creativity are key words in our day-to-day work, and we try to make the drawing studio an attractive workplace, in which individual members of staff will find professional challenges through projects of high quality. Our head office is in Aarhus and we have branches in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Oslo, Stockholm and London, as well as a limited company in Iceland.


South elevation

West elevation

Concept sketch

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Category: Hot House

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