“Greenhouse in the Botanic Garden” project includes a comprehensive restoration of the old greenhouse located in the Botanic Garden in Aarhus that was originally designed by C.F. Møller.

In the restoration the palm house has become a new botanical knowledge centre, at the same time as the complex is extended with a new, 18 metres high tropical greenhouse, in which the public can go exploring among the tree-tops. The existing snail-shaped greenhouse was well adapted to its surroundings, and it has been important to bear the existing architectural values in mind when designing the new one.

Greenhouse in the Botanic Garden - C.F. Møller

Greenhouse in the Botanic Garden © C.F. Møller / Julian Weyer

The new greenhouse also uses the organic form, which is, at the same time, based on energy-conserving design solutions and on a knowledge of materials, indoor climate and technology. Advanced calculations have ensured that form and energy consumption interact in the best possible manner. The domed shape and the building’s orientation in relation to the points of the compass have been chosen because this precise format gives the smallest surface area coupled with the largest volume, as well as the best possible sunlight incidence in winter, and the least possible in summer.


Greenhouse in the Botanic Garden © C.F. Møller / Quintin Lake

The new tropical conservatory at the Botanical Gardens in Aarhus is like a drop of dew in its green surroundings. Sustainable design, new materials and advanced computer technology went into the creation of the hothouse’s organic form. It’s transparent dome set on an oval base extends the existing greenhouse built in 1969. A special feature of this structure is that is allows for the greatest interior volume with the lowest possible surface area, leading to high energy efficiency.


Greenhouse in the Botanic Garden © C.F. Møller / Julian Weyer

The support structure consists of 10 steel arches, which fan out around a longitudinal and a transverse axis, creating a net of rectangles of varying sizes. Form TL planned and designed a cover for these arches made mainly of double-layered ETFE cushions, which are affixed with biaxially bent profiles due to their complex structure. On the south-facing side, the cushions used were made with three layers, two of which were printed. Through changes in pressure, the relative positions of these printed foils can be adjusted. This can reduce or increase, as desired, the translucence of the cushions, changing the light and heat input of the building.

C.F. Møller

C.F. Møller

Founded in 1924, it is one of Scandinavia's oldest and largest architectural practices. The company regards environmental concerns, resource-consciousness, healthy project finances, social responsibility and good craftsmanship as essential elements in their work.

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