Danish Architecture

The Sydney Opera House designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon.
The Sydney Opera House designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

Danish architects are known worldwide for creating architectural masterpieces. The internationally best known architectural landmarks created by Danes are Utzon's Sydney Opera House and von Spreckelsen's La Grande Arche de la Défence in Paris.

In Copenhagen and other Danish cities you will also find beautiful modern as well as historic buildings emphasising the proud tradition of Danish architecture.

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is an amazingly beautiful and iconic building. It has become a landmark for the city of Sydney as well as for the whole of Australia. The building was designed by and largely build under supervison of the Danish architect Jørn Utzon.

Creating the impressive shells of the Opera House was one of the major hurdles which Utzon and his team of engineers overcame after years of planning. However before the Sydney Opera House was finished Jørn Utzon fell victim of a political decision to sack him due to escalating cost of the project. After leaving Australia Utzon never visited the site of the Sydney Opera House in his life again.

Jørn Utzon's original plans for a spectacular interior of the Opera where changed. Nevertheless today the Sydney Opera House is the most popular tourist attraction in Australia and one of the worlds largest performing art centres.

La Grande Arche de la Défence 

In Paris you can visit La Grande Arche de la Défence which is also known as La Grande Arche. This modern triumphal arch was created by the Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen. 

La Grande Arche is situated in the business district of La Défense. It has become a major Paris tourist attraction and serves as symbol of a modern and prosperous France.

The Black Diamond 

The Black Diamond is a modern building situated at the Copenhagen waterfront. This architectural masterpiece was created by schmidt hammer lassen architects and constructed by Moe & Brødsgaard.

The building has clean-cut lines and the surface of the building is made of polished black granite. The black glittering surface of the Black Diamond reflects the water, sun, the clouds and other surrounding making the building even more interesting to watch.

The Black Diamond is used as an extension of the Royal Library's premises. The old part of the Royal Library is connected with the Black Diamond by three walking bridges making it easy for visitors to explore the great internal architecture in both the old and the new building.

The Opera

The Opera in Copenhagen was build in 2004. It was donated to the Danish state by the A.P. Møller and wife Chastine Mc-Kinney Møllers Foundation.

The grand exterior and interior of The Opera was designed by Henning Larsen Architects. The design and construction work was done under the personal leadership of Mr Arnold Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller who is chairman of the foundation donating the Opera. 

The Opera is one of the most expensive opera buildings in the world. Both performing operas, plays and concerts are held in the Opera. The Opera is placed beautifully in the Copenhagen Harbour area Holmen opposite to the Royal Amalienborg Palace.

ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum

ARoS is an art museum in Aarhus. The cube-shaped ARoS building is especially known for a beautiful interior design with a grand spiral staircase and bright exhibition rooms.

The grand ARoS building is designed by schmidt hammer lassen architects. After a donation from the Realdania foundation the ARoS building is being added with a spectacular exterior roof extension.

The extension is called Your Rainbow Panorama. It is expected to become a new landmark for the city of Aarhus. Your Rainbow Panorama will most certainly be an interesting and colourful experience for the ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum visitors. By walking the Your Rainbow Panorama oval you will be able to experience a sight of the city of Aarhus in different colours.  

The Aarhus City Hall

The Aarhus City Hall is already a landmark for the city of Aarhus. The Aarhus City Hall is best known for its big clock, but the whole building is beautifully designed.

Even though the building is 50 years old is still considered to be modern by today's standards. The Aarhus City Hall was build by the world famous Danish designers and architects Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller.

Grand historical buildings in Denmark

Besides the many new and modern grand architectural building there are also a lot of magnificent old buildings to be found in Denmark.

The great cultural and architectural Danish historical heritages can e.g. be seen when studying the Royal Theatre, Amalienborg and Børsen in Copenhagen, Roskilde Cathedral, Kronborg, The Old Town in Aarhus, Jens Bang's Stenhus in Aalborg and the Funen Village in Odense.  

Creative Danish architects

Danish architects are constantly looking to outdo themselves by creating new and innovative solutions. It is not only within landmark architecture you will find the constant strive of achieving new goals. Also within the building of homes, offices and infrastructure projects Danish architects and consulting engineers are seeking new goals. In Denmark especially environmentally friendly housing and offices building solutions are being created.

Studying architecture in Denmark

Most Danish architects are educated at the School of Architecture in Copenhagen or the School of Architecture in Aarhus. At Aalborg University you can also study architectural design.

Many Danish architectural students also attend studies abroad in order to find new inspiration for creating new architectural masterpieces in the future.

  • Aalborg University
  • ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum
  • Henning Larsen Architects
  • Kim Utzon Architects
  • Moe & Brødsgaard
  • Realdania
  • School of Architecture
  • The Royal Library
  • The Royal Theater
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