House of generations in Aarhus, Denmark
A modern home for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly
Generationernes Hus (House of Generations) is a modern take on a building where all generations live under the same roof.
The building has a unique location in Aarhus Docklands, surrounded by inspiring buildings such as Havnehusene, Pakhusene, Isbjerget, Havneholmen and AARhus.
- Aarhus Municipality
- Engineering consultancy, design of all engineering services as well as commissioning, fire, geotechnical and acoustic engineering
- ERIK Arkitekter, RUM arkitektur and Kragh & Berglund
Generationernes Hus is the first project of its kind in Denmark and encompasses approx. 27,400 m2 of residential and service areas and 3,000 m2 of basement area. The residential and service areas are divided into 304 dwellings, a café, exercise facilities, an educational aquarium and other rooms which serve as an active focal point for residents and users of the complex – and for activities in the local area. There are also outdoor areas and parking facilities.
The 304 dwellings comprise:
- 40 youth units
- 40 family units
- 24 units for adults with disabilities
- 100 senior units
- 100 nursing home units
- 200 care units for the elderly
The care units are grouped in clusters of 14-15 dwellings. The senior units are grouped in smaller clusters or neighbourhoods. Some senior units are grouped with youth and family units, while others are grouped in senior housing communities with individual units. The care units and senior units are 72 m2 in size.
The care units have a physical layout designed to cater for residents with extensive physical and/or mental care needs. The care units contain no kitchen, but all service connections are available to allow a mini kitchen to be installed.
The units share common areas and activity rooms, and there are staff on hand 24/7, as in a traditional care centre. The units are homely, while also allowing space for employees to perform their work in appropriate working positions, with room for physical and welfare aids. Given that the elderly need twice as much light as younger people for the same visual effect, both natural and electrical lighting have been carefully designed.
Sensory 1485 sqm day care centre
In addition to the many units, a day care centre has also been incorporated for the building’s youngest residents. The institution occupies several floors alongside the care centre and dwellings. In this way, the children help bring vitality and enthusiasm to the whole building.
The day care centre caters for up to 150 children, spread between the ground floor and first and second floors. The three floors are connected by an open arrivals square, adjacent to a large, fenced playground. The square also contains an orangery that spans several floors, provides access to other areas, and serves as an area for relaxation.
Each floor has its own outdoor areas, that children can reach without having to be accompanied by an adult. The outdoor areas have a total size of 1,900 m2 and contain greenhouses, garden beds for vegetables and an outdoor kitchen.
Sustainability in Generationernes Hus
The City of Aarhus 360-degree sustainability model has provided the foundation for the building’s design and future operation. A semi-compact building design means fewer areas to be heated and less heat loss.
Life cycle analyses have also been performed for building materials. The chosen materials have a long service life, low environmental impact in relation to their service life, and minimal maintenance costs. The materials – such as slate and tiles – patinate beautifully and signal solidity, leading users to take better care of the building and its surroundings.
Local rainwater management has been established, with the water being used in part to irrigate outdoor areas. Water drainage is visible in the complex, enhancing the social environment.