Moesgaard Museum's sloping roof, landscaped with grass and moss, makes the museum a striking icon in its historical setting. In the summer months, the roof is 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 diverse use of the museum far exceeds our expectations. As an invitation from prehistoric times, the museum beckons visitors to come inside and explore the exhibition halls – designed as terraces that open up to reveal their secrets, like the strata of an archaeological excavation. After Moesgaard Museum moved into its new premises, the number of visitors has increased to more than half a million per year.
In the permanent exhibition, visitors are invited on an exciting journey from Viking Age Aarhus into the world beyond – guided by a prominent local representative 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 temporary exhibition area is designed as a flexible exhibition space that is also rented 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 architectural expression of the exhibition halls is relatively anonymous. It creates the perfect setting for our changing exhibitions. The architecture of the actual museum, on the other hand, supports the vision of Moesgaard to be more than a museum. It is a destination in itself."
Moesgaard Museum is a self-governing institution with a long and strong tradition for research and dissemination.
The museum works closely together with Aarhus University, and is the workplace of more than 300 museum and university employees.
Research and teaching at Moesgaard Museum are undertaken in the fields of archeology, anthropology, conservation, and natural sciences. A lot of teaching takes place at the adjacent Moesgaard Manor, which preciously housed the museum's exhibitions, although the university now also uses the new exhibition building. Here, students can create their own exhibitions and try out the curator profession, while the museum's auditorium and meeting rooms are used for lectures and seminars.
Louis Becker, Design Principal and Partner at Henning Larsen:
"Cultural institutions play a very important role in ensuring cohesion in our society. They are today's version of the old community centers, where children and adults meet across interests and backgrounds."
At Moesgaard Museum, our design team has created an interior that serves as a narrative extension of the museum’s focus on Denmark’s human past. Along museum corridors and flooring, an earth tone palette emphasizing wooden accents and natural stone nod to the experience of an archaeological dig beneath Danish soil.
Custom furniture designed for the museum café, gift shop and reception area makes use of tanned leather, wool upholstery and natural oak – A modern reimaging of primitive crafting materials. These details enrich the museum’s anthropological narrative, helping visitors immerse themselves in the Denmark of centuries past.