Moesgaard Museum's sloping roof, landscaped with grass and moss, makes the museum a striking icon in this historical setting. In the summer months, the roof has been used as a theater stage, cycling track and Viking market. In the winter, after a fall of snow, the steep roof is the most popular tobogganing slope in the area. The museum's roof has thus been used in ways that far exceed our expectations. Like an invitation from prehistoric times, this museum in the heart of Jutland beckons visitors to come inside, where the exhibition halls are designed as terraces that open up to reveal their secrets, like the strata of an archaeological excavation. After Moesgaard Museum moved into this new exhibition building, the number of visitors increased to more than half a million per year.
In the permanent exhibition, visitors are invited on an exciting journey from the Aarhus of Viking times and out into the world beyond, in the company of one of the local striking personalities of that time.
This exhibition is the museum's largest, and the ceiling height of 12 meters makes it possible to present Moesgaard's impressive collection at several levels.
The special exhibition area is a flexible exhibition hall that is also leased out for conferences, fairs and fashion shows. The hall's high standards of logistics, security and climate control have secured major international exhibitions for the museum, such as "The First Emperor – China's Terracotta Army". The museum is the first in Denmark with the capacity to present exhibitions of this caliber.
"The exhibition halls' architecture is relatively anonymous. It creates the perfect setting for our changing exhibitions. The actual museum's architecture, on the other hand, supports the vision for Moesgaard to be more than a museum. It is a place to stay."
Moesgaard Museum is a self-governing institution with a long and strong tradition for research and dissemination.
The museum works closely with Aarhus University, and is the workplace of more than 300 museum and university employees.
At Moesgaard Museum, research and teaching take place in the fields of archeology, anthropology, conservation and natural sciences. A lot of teaching takes place at the adjacent Moesgård Manor, where the museum's public exhibitions were previously housed, although the university now also uses the new exhibition building. Here, students have the opportunity to create their own exhibitions and try out the curator profession, while the museum's auditorium and meeting rooms can be used for lectures and seminars.
Louis Becker, Design Principal and Partner at Henning Larsen Architects:
"Culture institutions play a very important role in ensuring cohesion in our society. They are today's version of the town's community center, where children and adults can meet to share their different interests and levels of understanding."