Most people in Denmark would tell you to stay out of Gellerup*

Quote, local resident

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Working to establish a public
art centre in a Danish "ghetto" 

 

Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city, has two public platforms for contemporary art. One is ARoS Museum of Art, an international heavyweight with 20.000 squaremetres of exhibition space and more to come. The other is Kunsthal Aarhus, a bit smaller smaller, but still a prominent and highly respected venue for contemporary art. We intend to establish the third platform: Gellerup Kunsthal.

Gellerup is a neighborhood that most people would associate with ethnic minorities. Along with Vollsmose in Odense and Mjølnerparken or Tingbjerg in Copenhagen, Gellerup has a national reputation for being a "ghetto", a term that is even found in the government's list of socially deprived areas, officially titled "The ghetto list."

The city council and the social housing organisation are now investing heavily in transforming the area "from deprived social housing area to attractive neighborhood", and new roads and public office buildings play a central role in these efforts.

We strongly believe that Gellerup Kunsthal could contribute to this in a profound way. Partly because a high-profile art centre would challenge the negative narrative that even the urban renewal scheme is based on. But mainly because Gellerup Kunsthal will be a hub for social interactions between local residents, tourists, cultural organisations and the business community.

Note that we are in the development stage, and we won't review submissions as of yet. However, do not hesitate to reach out if you are in a position so support the project.

 
 

Repurposing a public sports facility

 

We intend to establish Gellerup Kunsthal in Nordgårdhallen, a decommissioned school gym, currently owned by Aarhus Municipality.

The building was designed by Friis & Moltke and Knud Blach-Petersen in 1970 and houses a main room of 1.000 sqm along with 1100+ sqm of locker rooms, storage facilities, restrooms etc.

Upon completion, Gellerup Kunsthal will have three main elements:

  • Exhibition space (app. 1.400 sqm) and a café/restaurant/conference facilities
  • A music vanue
  • An art academy with scheduled activities for local daycare centres and schools
 
 
 

Photo/blueprints of the existing structure + design proposal by SHL Architecture. Click to enlarge.