Aalborg Waterfront Stage 1
vibeke roennow landscape architects

Vibeke Roennow Landscape together with C.F.Moller Architects

Aalborg Waterfront Stage 1

Owner and initiator: Aalborg Municipality

Realized: 2005 – 2013

Construction costs: 350 mil. Dkr/35 mlo.£

Landscape Architect: Vibeke Rønnow Landscape Architects

Photo: Vibeke Rønnow

Competition of the Aalborg new waterfront stage 1, was won by Vibeke Roennow Landscape, including a masterplan for improvement of the adherence between the seaside and Aalborg city, the third largest city in Denmark.  A broad belt of abandoned industrial areas and a four-lane road, separated the fjord from the city and if the area was to be transformed into a recreation area, the ability for crossing the coastal line was crucial to be solved. Across the whole length of the waterfront the Quay is raised 70cm, sloping backwards so that it forms a dam to prevent future floods in the city behind.

The new waterfront consists of 5 sub-areas that define the new urban meeting space for all citizens, despite age, social classes and communities. The new waterfront is created to the optimal use, regarding recreation, rising waters, and nuisance from traffic and wind.

’Kystvejen’ (Coastal Line Road) establishes the adherence between the city and harbour. Along with new lighting of road and surroundings, the new two-lined road with comfortable pavements, bicycle paths, and coherent traffic islands improves acces to the fjord, which was crucial for the revitalization of the harbour.

’Promenaden’ (Promenade) creates a coherent course along the harbour where new sitting steps, benches and viewing platforms enable views and bring you closer to the sea. Together, the road and promenade embraces The Jomfru Ane Park.

’Jomfru Ane Parken’ (Virgin Ane Park) includes four smaller gardens, parallel to the fjord and recessed below ground level. (1) toddlers playground, (2) a new market building with restaurants, (3) activity park and (4)the flower garden. The whole Jomfru Ane Park is sheltered from the Coast Line Road with a bastion of white concrete with recessed peepholes.

’Slotspladsen’  (Castle Square) forms together with its open green lawn, a hinge between the medieval city and the harbour area and the large green square is meant for bigger  arrangements such as carnival etc.

’Utzonparken’ Defines the west end of the competition area and are expressed with the meandering path lanes and cherry trees, a leafy frame to the new exhibition - a centre of excellence dedicated to Jørn Utzon.

‘Lighting, Materials and Plantings’ Alongside Kystvejen a row of 13m high floodlight masts underlines the curved road paths. Various lightings specifies different moods in the gardens and plazas and the combination of up-lights under the trees in both warm and cold colours. The accent lighting of the ball nets with the characteristic slanted poles which by night, gives a radiant signature for the whole waterfront. The long course of the Promenade is lit by regular 6m high masts with spotlights.

Asphalt, concrete, steel and wood are the materials used. All tiling is kept in white and black. The new road alignment is delicately designed, including pavements with a pattern of waving mosaics pattern like the famous Copa Cabana. All inventory is designed specially to the waterfront and benches, drinking fountains and lighting has been selected to fit into the entirety.     

The trees in the Jomfru Ane gardens continue on the pavements and each garden has a planting signature of its own. The rich flowerbeds are kept in blue and white colours and the signature trees in the Jomfru Ane Park are Himalayan Birch, Copper Birch and Juneberry.

Summary: Aalborg Waterfront Stage 1 has since the beginning, been the most visited urban meeting space in Aalborg documented by several readings. The waterfront is now easy to access and is used by citizens of all age and communities and thus the intention of the masterplan is fulfilled.    


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