's new entrance is unmissable. Where there used to be a dark gate, a 109 m2 large glass façade now invites one to come inside. The architecture signals a "Welcome!" to all who pass.
"The design of the entrance is a natural continuation of our development and our attitude to the museum visitors," says ARKEN's director Christian Gether.
"Today going to a museum is a total experience. An art museum today is far more than the exhibitions - it's also a visit to the café, a well stocked museum shop and good opportunities to allow the impressions to settle."
One Extension - Three Parts - Two Architects
Arken's extension consists of three parts. The new entrance and a new sculpture hall, designed by the architect behind the original museum, Søren Robert Lund, as well as new education rooms, designed by Anna Maria Indrio from C.F. Møller Architects. She also designed the galleries that ARKEN opened in January 2008.
The sculpture hall, given the name The Detlefs HallHE after the donators, and the new education rooms have been fitted up in two of Arken's existing sculpture yards. The yards have been roofed, and their architecture reflects their use. Søren Robert Lund's sculpture hall suggests contemplation and relaxation with white walls, skylights and wooden floors that "soften" and contrast with the original concrete grey and crooked ARKEN architecture around it. The original architectural expression, however, is retained in C.F. Møller's education rooms. They have a rawer and more edgy expression, with concrete floor and walls, and thus are created for - and will stand up to - creative self-realisation and teaching.
In each their own way, all the rooms in the new extension reflect ARKEN's development and accommodativeness to art and its visitors. The keywords are openness, usability and accommodativeness. The colours are kept in white, grey and wood (merbau) with occasional red fixpoints. The emphasis is on light and airiness with natural light from skylights and other sources.
The Core of the Museum
Through the glass façade of the entrance the visitors step onto a "warm" wooden floor of merbau, into a bright and open skylit reception area. A newly decorated museum shop opens up to the left, while a new ticket area with redesigned counters are on the right. The wooden floor continues into the former foyer and shop area.
The 600 m2 large room's function as the core of the museum is manifest now. Here visitors can meet in a form of "agora". Here they can relax, orient themselves and go to and from the art exhibitions, browse the shop, go to the café, to teaching programmes, concerts and films. All rooms can be reached from the "core". The original long bridge has been dismantled, giving ARKEN much better opportunities to present the art - works from the collection - while the effect of the bridge has been kept in connection with the entrance to the museum café. Also, the "roof" of the bridge is still clearly seen as a metal band in the ceiling.
In this way the new extension creates a connection too to the original museum while emphasising the differences. The development leaves its marks on the museum. It is visible.