ROCKmagneten in Roskilde / by MVRDV and COBE

The MVRDV and COBE scheme for the transformation of a former concrete factory into a multifunctional creative hub was chosen winner of an international design competition. The masterplan proposes an informal transformation of the 45.000m2 site into a dense neighborhood, incl. 8.000m2 existing factory halls, organized around a plaza for events. Three new volumes will be added on top of the halls: The 11.000m2 ROCKmagneten consists of The Danish Rock Museum, The Roskilde Festival Folkschool incl. student housing, and the headquarters of the famous Roskilde Rock Festival. They share program in a public creative communal house. The museum with a total of 3.000m2 will be completed as the first phase in 2014.

The site is located between Roskilde city centre and the Festival grounds of the annual rock festival. The brief demanded preservation halls of the former concrete factory Unicon and the informal character of the site which is currently used by artists, skaters and musicians. How to organise liberty, creativity and informality? The main idea is to create contrast by preserving the existing fabric as much as possible and positioning the new volumes above the existing halls. The masterplan defines areas for future buildings and temporary pavilions around a large event plaza connecting the halls and the ROCKmagneten with the main street. As a result Unicon becomes Musicon.

The old industrial halls will be insulated and opened for daylight but keep their rough character. The big open spaces inside the halls will then be interconnected and partly filled with elements of the ROCKmagneten’s public program and partly consist of ‘undefined’ space where temporary activities, events, exhibitions or the unplanned can take place. The halls function as the heart of the creative hub for the Musicon area.

Three new volumes will be added on top of the halls. The Danish Rock Museum (3.000m2) is the main focus of the masterplan with a facade of gold colored spikes. The exhibition concept of the new museum is based on the rock star experience, like ‘the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust’. Visitors can arrive by limo on a red carpet, stand in line to get a ticket and then enter the main exhibition hall through a stage elevator. The descend down through the bar marks the exit of the museum. The foyer of the museum not only provides access to the whole ROCKmagneten but can also be used as an outdoor concert stage, performing to either the big event plaza or the halls.

The Roskilde Festival Headquarter is an office block on top of one of the factory halls shaped as a stack of loud speakers with a black rubber facade. Some speakers are real and can be used for concerts on the plaza.

The Roskilde Festival Folkschool will occupy one of the halls with rooms for lectures, study, lounges etc. positioned around an open space containing a fireplace. A 3-level circular volume on top of the halls contains 80 double rooms for students.

The ambition is to create a green machine; based on the smart combination of proven technologies the buildings will act in accordance with the environmental vision of Roskilde Festival. The annual rock festival is the biggest in Northern Europe and organised as a charity which donates its profit. Bands such as U2, R.E.M., Coldplay, Pet Shop Boys, Prince, Rammstein and Robbie Williams perform to an enthusiastic crowd from all over Europe.
MVRDV and COBE conceived the plan with Arup engineering, Wessberg engineers, LIW planning landscape architects and Transsolar for climate and energy.


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