Ever since Roskilde Municipality bought the former concrete factory and gravel pit, Unicon, in 2003, the ambition has been to create a new neighbourhood like no place else.

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 with 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. A “red carpet” leads visitors right to the entrance under the museum’s huge overhang..