Leüthens Kulturhage, Norway, Norwegian Architecture, Design, Pictures

Leüthens Kulturhage, Norway : Trondheim Building

Cultural Garden Building – design by Henning Larsen Architects

22 Dec 2012

New Leüthenhaven

Design: Henning Larsen Architects

Leüthens Kulturhage, Trondheim building design

Project Description

Leüthens Kulturhage’ – ‘Leüthen’s Cultural Garden’ – will be a new, vibrant urban space in Trondheim. The area is closely connected to the existing city and will constitute a modern, adventurous urban space to be explored by citizens and visitors. ‘Leüthens Kulturhage’ will be a new gathering point in the city, providing the setting for community and informal meetings. The design of the new office facilities for Trondheim City in Leüthenhaven beautifully connects the building to the new cinema, front square and existing theatre as well as the many other educational and cultural institutions in the area.

Leüthens Kulturhage Trondheim Leüthens Kulturhage Trondheim
pictures courtesy Henning Larsen Architects

With its open design, the new municipal building invites people inside, and the building thus gives something back to the city. Clad in natural materials, the facade stands out in a welcoming and embracing expression. The design is inspired by Johan Caspar De Cicignon’s masterplan for Trondheim. The concept of the masterplan is reflected in the design of the new municipal building and cinema to provide the buildings with a historical reference.

The down-sized scale of the office building – as regards height, materials and geometry – relates to the surrounding city. With its human scale, the building meets the city at eye level, and the displaced floors and projections contribute to opening up the building to its context.

Four clear principles define the design of the new building for Trondheim City:

• An inspiring, dynamic and unifying interior space, closely interacting with the exterior
• A clear and flexible layout Side 2/4
• A simple and buildable structure with a distinctive identity and rich materiality
• A flexible concept allowing for the design to be altered in collaboration with the client, citizens and users

Daylight is one of the most important parameters of the design, both as regards sustainability and work environment. The heart of the building is the vibrant atrium space situated in the centre of the volume. The atrium features a number of displaced floors, which create terraces and balconies and thus encourage informal meetings between the employees. The atrium increases the sense of community across the organisation –whether an employee or visitor, you contribute to the atmosphere in the building.

About the competition

The jury unanimously selected Henning Larsen Architects’ project, ’Leüthens Kulturhage’, as winner of the competition. According to the competition brief, the winning project should:

– make use of the potential of the site and engage in close dialogue with the city and surrounding buildings
– stand out as an open, attractive and welcoming space inviting for interaction with the existing institutions and users of the area
– be a spearhead project in sustainable design

Five other architecture studios participated in the competitions: Hvidt Architects and Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects from Denmark and Lund & Slaatto Architects, L2 Architects, Reiulf Ramstad Architects and Pir 2 from Norway.

Extract from the citation

”The jury finds the design concept very convincing indeed. The divided configuration has great potential as it provides a high degree of robustness and flexibility in terms of handling the alternations that will naturally follow in the next phases. The architects themselves write that the building design allows for a “forward-looking design process based on good ideas from everyone.” Further, the design meets the brief requirements for an open, welcoming building inviting for exploration.”

”The front square has a unique location and design. The open, flexible reception and exhibition space by the entrance is especially successful – interacting with the front square, it provides a welcoming, embracing expression.”


Situated south of the Trondheim Fjord, Trondheim is the third-largest city in Norway and the capital of the Trøndelag region. In summer, many tourists come to the city to visit Nidaros Cathedral. The cathedral is the national shrine of Norway and is one of the largest medieval buildings in Scandinavia with a length of 102 metres. Today, Trondheim has more than 174,000 citizens.


Leüthenhaven is situated in the south-western part of Trondheim city centre and currently serves as a parking space. The objective of the international architectural competition was to create a new meeting place in Trondheim.

The competition proposals should comprise:

– Office spaces for Trondheim City
– Meeting facilities for local cultural organisations
– Trondheim Kino (cinema)
– An underground car park
– A bus terminal
– A square

The ambition of the competition was to develop a spearhead project in green building and, additionally, to encourage knowledge sharing and interaction between the educational and cultural institutions of the area.

Henning Larsen Architects

Henning Larsen Architects is one of the most international architecture companies in Denmark. The company was founded by Henning Larsen in 1959 and today employs a staff of approx. 170 people.

Since the 1960’s, Henning Larsen Architects has worked on a number of projects in Norway. Trondheim University (today called The Norwegian University of Science and Technology) is designed by Henning Larsen and was inaugurated in 1978. Jåttå Vocational School in Stavanger was completed in 2007.

In Oslo, Henning Larsen Architects is behind the radiotherapy building (2006) and research institute (2009) of the Norwegian Radium Hospital. Currently, the company is developing a new commercial building in Oslo in collaboration with NCC Property Development Currently and a new university and research campus in Aas on the outskirts of Oslo.

Henning Larsen Architects is managed by CEO Mette Kynne Frandsen, Design Director Louis Becker and Design Director Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen.

Leüthens Kulturhage Trondheim – Building Information

Location: Trondheim, Norway
Client: City of Trondheim
Architect: Henning Larsen Architects
Landscape architect: Gullik Gulliksen
Gross floor area: 39,000 sqm
Type of assignment: First prize in international competition
Team of Henning Larsen Architects: Peer Teglgaard Jeppesen (responsible partner), Michael Sørensen (design manager), Mikkel Eskildsen, Rafel Crespo, Chenqi Jia, Gry Taraldhagen and Hung-Kai Liao

Location: Leüthens, Trondheim, Norway

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