What is Musicon?
No grand ’master plan’ that locks the development of the area in a specific direction has ever been made. Instead, the different projects are created step-by-step in collaboration between citizens, developers, architects, cultural institutions, local businesses and the municipality which means that Musicon is a dynamic site in constant movement and constant change. You might call it urban development by match-making. Because Musicon is more than bricks, stones and concrete. It is also a people-centric approach to urban development where citizens need to play an active part in shaping and engaging with the area where they live and work.
“Life before the city”and “user-driven city development” have been central terms at Musicon since the old factory workshops, office buildings and empty spaces where taken into use, in 2008. Hence, as the first to move in, skaters, artists, the dance theatre, ‘Aaben Dans’, Roskilde Festival, organizations and small creative firms set the course for the future city development. Now, Musicon has entered a phase that sees the permanent city beginning to take form alongside the temporary projects which continue to flourish; where large, ambitious and expensive building projects are emerging side by side with small, ambitious and inexpensive.
Roskilde is 30 minutes from Copenhagen and known for the Cathedral that is on the UNESCO world heritage list – and the Roskilde Festival that is one of the biggest music and culture festivals in Europe. Musicon acts as the link – and a cultural clash – between the two. Musicon is both an offspring of a festival, which rebuilds itself from nothing every year, and of a historical city with a global heritage and proud traditions.
With a gold studded façade the Ragnarock Museum (COBE/MVRDV) at Musicon acts as a new cultural and architectural beacon in the old industrial area. The museum has acted as a cultural catalyst for the development of Musicon. At the same time, it will be Denmark’s first museum directed at young people, a museum which will be accessible 24/7 and which will be in constant development and dialogue with its users. A “red carpet” will lead visitors right to the museum’s overhang, which will act as an outdoor space for concerts and similar events.
The Musicon Office encourages all stakeholders to rethink the elements that constitute a city, preferably in a way that makes them multifunctional. The award-winning urban drainage system, Rabalder Parken (SNE ARCHITECTS), also functions as a skate park and has been created in close cooperation with the skaters at Musicon. And the so-called ‘creative family residences’ at Musicon are a reinterpretation of the town houses of past times with commercial residences on the ground floor and residential residences above.
Movement House (Olafur Eliasson & Sebastian Behmann) is an innovative building dedicated to the cultivation of health. Promoting interaction between a range of health care services, Movement House forms a new centre in Musicon and Roskilde. The building’s 360-degree approach to health – which encompasses both physical and mental health, including social and emotional well-being – is supported by an open and flexible architectural design. The circular construction comprises an inner Core of doctor’s practices and health facilities, surrounded by an outer Activity Ring which encourages visitors to become aware of their bodies through active engagement with the space.
When Musicon is complete, it will be a neighbourhood with about 2000 homes and 2000 workplaces.