Studio Olafur Eliasson has a number of new notches to add to its already lengthy list of achievements with the inauguration of Fjordenhus, the studio’s - and artist Olafur Eliasson’s - first ever building. Fjordenhus (quite literally Fjord House in the Danish) is, in a nutshell, an abiding embrace of its environment and all the multidisciplinary skills that Eliasson and his studio have spent the past 23 years building.
Architecturally, the building draws its curvilinear lines from the concept of water’s ebb and tide. This building, designed and realised with Sebastian Behmann - the cofounder of SOE’s sister Studio Other Spaces - takes its key inspiration from its unique location in Vejle, a fjord town that is transforming its scenic feature into a source of profit. Eliasson’s brief was quite simply to create the headquarters for Kirk Kapital, an investments holding company most well known for its management of a portion of the Lego fortune. Bahmann says in a press release that the challenge and goal was the creation of a building that was a “central element of the harbour” that “honours its unique setting in a direct, radical way”.
To that end, Studio Olafur Eliasson employed Danish brick as its primary constructive element, using a range of 12 custom glazes and subtly irregular bricks to create what they call a “lively, organic surface”. Its flooring uses Pietra Piasentina, a porcelain stone found in quarries in Friuli, Italy. And then on the building’s interior office spaces are furniture pieces designed by Eliasson and his studio - grounded primarily in wood as a counterpoint to the building’s white concrete, grey stone, and shades of brown brick.
Most exciting for the rest of us who don’t work at Kirk Kapital, is the public gallery area of the Fjordenhus that will house unique artworks by Olafur Eliasson. The installations are spaced around water-accessible areas, and draws the viewer into a dialogue between the fluidity of its environment and the curvature of the building.