Ragnarock Museum

Grooviness. Clad in golden facetted aluminum armor, this massive cantilevered construction will offer Danish youth a place to celebrate pop & rock culture. The new museum occupies the terrain of the former concrete factory in the small town of Roskilde (30 km west of Copenhagen), which hosts the music festival of the same name. Like many venues of its kind, the museum is situated in the suburban context of abandoned industrial buildings and warehouses.

Courtesy of MVRDV & COBE, Photoraphy: Ossip van Duivenbode

Courtesy of MVRDV & COBE, Photoraphy: Ossip van Duivenbode

Responsible for the design are Dutch and Danish firms MVRDV & COBE. The 3100 m2 museum wants to immerse the visitors in the life of a rock star. The inspiring journey starts with the red carpet welcome, rises to fame in the frenzy of the auditorium’s elevated stage, and inevitably ends in the bar. Like a rolling stone.

The narratives and gestures of the rock style with its musical cacophony and rebellious energy boldly assume architectural form. Geometric opt-art patterns envelop the building’s exterior and interior to give a touch of psychedelia and crude glamour. Rock’n’Roll was a style born around Memphis, for poor blacks and whites, trying to escape the grinding poverty of the countryside, to enjoy. Now its heavy backbeats and amplified guitars are  transformed into a recognisable cultural product but we still feel the authentic spirit of its beautiful rage that contributed to the African-American civil rights movement.

Courtesy of MVRDV & COBE, Photoraphy: Ossip van Duivenbode

Courtesy of MVRDV & COBE, Photoraphy: Ossip van Duivenbode

“Loud and in your face!”should be the building’s intonation, as per MVRDV founding partner Jacob van Rijs, “The relationship between Ragnarock and the original halls creates spaces that will breed a new generation of rock stars in a hugely creative environment.” 

The museum houses offices and different exhibition facilities.

Courtesy of MVRDV & COBE, Photoraphy: Ossip van Duivenbode

Courtesy of MVRDV & COBE, Photoraphy: Ossip van Duivenbode

The golden studded façade is to represent the flamboyant costumes of iconic lead singers, while the velvety red interior pays homage to the soft inside of a guitar case. The void culminates in the topped cantilevered auditorium, which is the design’s main structural signature. Eclecticism in terms of materials should draw a landmark between old and new – the raw concrete of the neighbouring warehouses contrasts with the museum’s groovy style, this is Rock’n’Roll – something raucous, something frisky.

By: Sabina Karleva

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