Museum in Herning

The new museum for contemporary art (HEART) in Herning lies on a hill between an industrial estate and an expressway, near a former shirt factory. The building makes reference to the significance of the site, the history of the textile industry, and to the museum’s collection, in large part donated by the industrialist Aage Damgaard. The museum appears to rise up from the reflecting pool and the grass-covered berms: four arms radiate out from the building’s centre and extend outdoors in the form of elongated berms connecting architecture and landscape. This interplay furnishes surprising changes in view, and the play of light and shadow underscores the sculptural quality. Five strips of roof segment are arranged and laid over one another like shirtsleeves. The architectural leitmotif is even evident in the facades: the white concrete walls appear to be cloaked in a pattern of creases. Treasure troves – the exhibition spaces – are the heart of the building; they are surrounded by the foyer, concert hall, library, restaurant and open-air stage. These can all be used without disturbing the quiet atmosphere in the exhibition spaces. The interiors are characterized by vaulted ceiling elements whose convex surfaces are reminiscent of billowing fabric or of sails. Contrary to first impressions, the roof elements are not monolithic shells, but rather are constructed of steel lattice girders and a plastered sub-structure.
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