Visiting professors to stay with Aristotle and Kepler

Four new apartments at the Ole Rømer Observatory now ensure excellent accommodation for Aarhus University’s visiting professors from abroad.

2012.06.30 | AU Kommunikation

Photo: Lars Kruse/AU Communikation

Photo: Lars Kruse/AU Communikation

After summer, visiting professors from abroad will be able to move into four completely renovated apartments while they are working at Aarhus University. And they will have ample opportunity to take a closer look at the starry sky because the four apartments are located in the former official residence just a few hundred metres from the Ole Rømer Observatory in the Marselis woods.

However, it is not only from the observatory that it is possible to see the stars. The four new apartments are named after some of the most influential scientists in the history of the world – Aristotle, Brahe, Copernicus and Kepler.

The apartments – the largest of which covers 170 square metres divided into two floors – will help attract top international researchers to Aarhus University. And there are indications that there will be considerable demand when the bookings are open.

“It’s an attractive setting and a very nice place to have at your disposal. We’re also short of accommodation for visiting researchers, and they’ll be able to feel at home here immediately. It’s also great that there are four apartments because it means the visiting researchers can get to know each other and their families. I’m really looking forward to being able to book these apartments,” says Marianne Vedsø, Department of Bioscience, who took a closer look at the premises at the official opening.

History is present

The observatory buildings celebrated their centenary in 2011 and AU Finance and Planning – in collaboration with the Danish Agency for Culture and CREO Architects – made great efforts to keep to the original plans during the renovations.

“I really feel we succeeded very well in recreating the atmosphere and spirit of the period. The architects even went as far as to scrape off the paint to find the original colours, so it wasn’t an easy process. In fact, it was extremely hard to find interior pictures from back then, so that made the challenge even greater,” says Ole J. Knudsen, who is not only head of the planetarium at the Steno Museum, but also co-author of a book on the Ole Rømer Observatory published on the occasion of the centenary. He was also involved in proposing names for the four apartments.

The observatory and the adjacent director’s residence were built in 1911 when the German astronomer Friedrich Krüger offered to move his family and instruments to Aarhus. Aarhus University did not exist then, but the mayor of the time actually mentioned in his opening speech that the observatory could certainly benefit a university, should it be established.

Since the observatory was built, there have been classrooms and a science museum in the premises that – from now on – will house prominent visiting professors for periods of two to twelve months.

For more information about booking the visitor accommodation, please contact FEAS (the research foundation property company).

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