The Ragnarock museum in Denmark

Located in Roskilde, a city 30 kilometers from Copenhagen, where Denmark’s largest music festival takes place, the Ragnarock museum offers a new must-visit destination for rock lovers.

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What does the museum name reference to?

“Ragnarock” comes from a word in Norse mythology “Ragnarok” or Doom of the Gods, which consists of a series of cataclysmic events among the gods that will lead to the flooding of the world. This myth is widely spread and talked about in rock songs.

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What does this museum offer to the community?

The 3,100 square meters museum houses recording studios, a library, a café, workshops, an outdoor music venue, an auditorium, a bar, and various administrative facilities.

Dutch firm MVRDV and Danish office COBE worked hand in hand to design this building with two dual notions of rock music: the roughness and trashiness on one side, and the glittery and outstanding on the other side.

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From a global perspective, how do these notions translate into architecture?

The building’s exterior is completely cladded with golden anodized-aluminum studded panels referencing the most worn costumes by rock stars while the interior is lined with red studs, echoing the velvet-lined guitar cases.

Also, from a more conceptual perspective, the Ragnarock museum aims at being the translation of rock music into architecture by being a structure that makes a loud statement, rather than having a discrete physical presence. It is a defiant building with vibrant energetic colors and bold defiant lines.

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From a more detailed perspective, what are the discerning architectural features?

The four-storey building touches the site as lightly as possible. The back of the museum sits on top of an old concrete warehouse while its front flies freely over the ground with a 20 meter long cantilever.

The interior of the building was designed around the journey of a rock star. Upon entering the museum, a red carpet welcomes you into the entrance hall, where you are invited to “rise to fame” and directed into the cantilevered auditorium. From there, you begin the inevitable descent back down towards the bar.

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What is the relationship between the museum and its surroundings?

The Ragnarock museum is the core structure of an 11,000 square meter complex called “Rock Magnet” that will include a communal house, a public high school and the headquarters of the Roskilde festival. And “Rock Magnet” is also part of a new district dedicated to creative business as well as arts and culture, entitled “Musicon”.

Looking at it as just a small piece in such a larger scheme, the museum stands out today amongst the old concrete warehouses of the neighborhood. Its golden studded exterior creates a dynamic relationship with the industrial rough buildings surrounding it, while its cantilevered volume offers a large covered area for social interactions and future concerts.

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What I loved about this building is that it is not architecturally shy. In such simple basic architectural surroundings, the building is not afraid of being shocking or confrontational. It kind of raises the bar for architecture and design, rather that fading within the standard that is already there.

It comes in with a bold and strong character and with that, it promises a creative prosperous future for the developing area.

In addition to this, I think richness comes from contrast and added value comes from confrontation. This building offers grounds for debating architecture and design ideologies as well as grounds for social and musical interactions.

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