Gate to Gellerup


Less ghetto. More city

  • LocationÅrhus, DK
  • ProgramSocial Housing, renovation and new build
  • ClientBrabrand Boligforening
  • YearCompetition 2017
  • CollaboratorsHundsbæk & Henriksen, Nova5, Vega Landskab

The social housing area, Gellerupplanen should be removed from the Danish “ghetto list” and instead become an integrated part of Aarhus. The infrastructure must be connected to the rest of the city. Part of the 60s concrete block, Blok 4, will be demolished to provide space for a new road. Across the road will be designed an infill that contains both apartments and common areas, and also creates a gate to Aarhus city. The long-term goal is that the city and the large-scale social housing will meld. Gellerup must reinvent itself as a neighborhood, not as an isolated parallel community. Rather than tearing down the building, we should relate to history and the hardcore architecture of the past in new and meaningful ways.


Hanging or standing?

The client suggested a complex and expensive steel construction hanging from the existing concrete structure. A solution that required long-term rehousing of the residents.

In order to minimize the intervention in the existing buildings, we suggested an alternative concrete construction placed directly on the ground – like a piece of furniture. The gate motif is the result of this simple construction principle where the weight from the new building is lead into the ground between the two existing gables.


The front area of the new housing block has been designed like a wide pedestrian area that ties the area together to an urban space with clean lines and great overview. This design creates a cohesive space where the different entrances, front yards and informal meeting points are clearly defined. The common urban space should be open as well as being a safe place to dwell. Trees and plants indicate the locations of future townhouses, however, parking is currently being organized in the street areas between the landscaping and buildings.


The new gate works like glue between the split parts of the old housing block