Synergetic Expansion

Synergetic Expansion

ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark, announces The Next Level, a €40 million semi-subterranean extension project in collaboration with American artist James Turrell (b. 1943) and Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. Alongside two site-specific installations, the development consists of a 1,400 metre square underground gallery connecting the existing building to the nearby Officerspladsen square.

One of Turrell’s heavily symbolic pieces, The Dome, doubles as an open-air gallery for performance art. As the only part of the extension visible from the outside, elevated nine metres above ground level and 40 metres in diameter, it enshrouds the visitor in light and colour. Through this, the installation carries the practitioner’s trademark of six decades: a large and heavily manipulated space that plays with the spectator’s visual experience. Turrell is best known for Roden Crater, a work of unprecedented size, which comprises of an extinct volcano in the Arizona desert. Over the years, Turrell has been turning this site into an observatory, with an aim to link earth and atmosphere. It has become a site for the contemplation of the celestial, creating a unique sensory landscape. Parallels can be seen between this work and The Dome, which reaches upwards and emulates a similar form, providing an aperture that opens out onto the sky.

Breaking down institutional boundaries, this is a development designed not only to display ARoS’s large collection, but to be an accessible space that immerses the viewer completely within it. The idea of a public, cultural journey links to the museum’s current layout, which forms a bridge between the Aarhus river and the Aarhus Music Hall. The Next Level forms a synergetic relationship not only with this, but with Olafur Eliasson’s Your rainbow panorama, a multicoloured circular skywalk that sits above the museum.

Erland G. Høyerston, director of the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, notes: “We know that art is indispensable to a lot of people and suspect that still more could benefit from it, because of its potential to impact a person’s outlook as well as their thinking. The Next Level will merge art and architecture, and will make the journey through the museum an engaging and enriching experience for the public.”

The Next Level is planned to open to the public in 2021. Find out more:

1. East Portal, Roden Crater. Photo Credit: Florian Holzherr © James Turrell.