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Ragnarock Roskilde – the golden museum of rock by MVRDV and COBE

Place: Roskilde, Country: Denmark
Client: ROMU
Ragnarock Museum in Roskilde
Design team: MVRDV and COBE Arkitekter
Text by Riccardo Bianchini
Images courtesy of MVRDV and Ragnarock

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE night view

Ragnarock museum, exterior view at night, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Ragnarock: the golden museum of rock by MVRDV and COBE

On April 29, 2016, the Crown Prince of Denmark Frederik inaugurated the new Ragnarock museum in Roskilde, a town near Copenhagen well-known as the location of the famous Roskilde music festival.

The golden shape of the museum stands out in the middle of Musicon, a new district dedicated to creative business, arts and culture, located in the former premises of a disused cement factory.
The museum is the core of a planned 11,000-square-meter complex, entitled Rock Magnet, which will also include a public high school and the headquarters of the Roskilde festival.

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE exterior view 01

Ragnarock museum, exterior view, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE model 01

A scale model of the Rock Magnet complex with the Ragnarock museum in the middle

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE scheme 02

Volumetric scheme of the Rock Magnet, with the school, the museum and the Roskilde festival headquarters

Rock Magnet Roskilde MVRDV COBE elevation 01

Rock Magnet Roskilde MVRDV COBE elevation 02

Elevation drawings of the Rock Magnet complex

The project of the Ragnarock museum is the winning design submitted by Rotterdam-based architectural firm MVRDV and Copenhagen-based one COBE, to an international design competition held in 2011, and jointly developed thereafter.

Seen from the outside, the museum is clearly marked by two elements: an “extremely-cantilevered” shape and a quite brave golden anodised aluminium studded facade. The intention of the architects was to clearly identify the museum while at the same time creating a dynamic relationship with the industrial buildings around, rather crude in their appearance yet a perfect backdrop for an area dedicated to alternative youth culture, informal creativity, and innovative music.

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE exterior view 02

Ragnarock museum, exterior view, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Facade Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE

Detail of the studded facade made in anodized aluminum,  photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Red carpet Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE

This “red carpet” welcomes visitors as they were all “rock stars”,  photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE scheme

Axonometric view of the museum with its three floor levels

Passing the entrance door, those who visit the Ragnarock are overwhelmed by a color: red. Red is everywhere: ceiling, walls, floor, everything is painted or electroplated in a vividly bright red tint to recall “a guitar case’s soft velvet inside”.

Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE render 01

Render view of the competition project by MVRDV

Entrance interior view 01 Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE

Entrance hall, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Ticket dessk Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE

Interior view of the ground level just after the entrance hall, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

The overall experience is quite surprising and dynamic, though not for mousy characters; indeed, “Ragnarock is the translation of rock music into architecture; the energy, the defiance, the statement. Loud and in your face!” (Jacob van Rijs – MVRDV)

The museum, on a total floor area of 3,100 square meters distributed on three levels, includes exhibition spaces, an auditorium, administration offices and, of course, a bar.

Rock Magnet Roskilde MVRDV COBE section 02

Rock Magnet Roskilde MVRDV COBE section 01

Section drawings of the museum and the complex

Cloakroom Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE

The museum cloakroom, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Auditorium Ragnarock museum Roskilde MVRDV COBE

The auditorium at the upper floor, photo © Ossip van Duivenbode

Ragnarock museum Roskilde
Design team:
Architects: MVRDV and COBE Arkitekter
Landscape architect: LIW Planning (DK)


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Ragnarock museum – Roskilde
Ragnarock music museum Roskilde exterior view 01

The Ragnarock museet for pop, rock & ungdomskultur is a Danish museum dedicated to “pop, rock and youth culture” located in Roskilde, a town near Copenhagen


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