Proposal to list the University Park and several building in the park under consideration

The Agency for Culture and Palaces has nominated 26 buildings in the University Park and all outdoor areas in the University Park and the Vennelyst Park for preservation. The nomination is based on the buildings’ unique character and the park’s architectural value. The university will review and comment on the proposal during the public consultation period.

The map shows the 26 buildings and the area included in the proposed listing. These are: Buildings owned by the Danish Building and Property Agency with AU as tenant. The first building (1340-1343), the Main Building (1410-1415), the Staklade complex and Rector’s Office (1420, 1422, 1423, 1430 and the passage to the main building), Mathematics (1530, 1532 and 1534), Aarhus School of Dentistry/DENT (1613), Student Housing (1310). In addition, it is proposed to list the University Park, the area by Galgebakken and Vennelystparken for preservation as a single work of landscape architecture. The square in front of Stakladen would be preserved as an area close to a listed building. Buildings with other owners The Book Tower (1360), Residence Hall 4 and 7 (1194 and 1313), the Museum of Natural History (1210, 1211 and 1212).

The preservation proposal from the Agency for Culture and Palaces has just been made available for public consultation, which will last until 11 December 2022, after which the agency will decide whether to list parts of Aarhus University.

Aarhus University rector Brian Bech Nielsen understands why the Agency for Culture and Palaces sees unique qualities in the university’s campus in Aarhus. However, he’s also aware of the difficulties a preservation classification could give rise to:

“I’m incredibly proud of the university’s unique campus, which still - about 90 years after being built - looks good. As the preservation proposals reveals, we have been taking very good care of the buildings and the park, and we have made every effort to respect the original architectural style when renovating or building something new. But the potential preservation status complicates the future development of the buildings, which is necessary if they are to adapt and evolve with the changing requirements of study environments, flexible learning environments and research facilities. The university is not static, but is made up of buildings that are in use. So we have our concerns about the prospect that some of the buildings and the University Park itself will be listed for preservation,” says rector.

He adds that the university will now review and comment on the proposals, as which the public consultation period allows for.

Ambulatory and Staklade listed for preservation

According to the agency, the background for the preservation proposal is that several buildings and park facilities in the University Park in Aarhus have a unique architectural and cultural-historical value. For this reason, the agency and the ‘special building survey’ have decided to nominate them for preservation. The chosen buildings are the Main Hall, the Ambulatory, the Staklade complex, Student Housing, the Book Tower, the Museum of Natural History and several other buildings in and near the University Park.

In relation to the preservation proposals, the Agency for Culture and Palaces points out the natural coherence between the buildings and the park itself, and that the coherence has a particular landscape architecture value.. That is why the University Park, the area by Galgebakken and the Vennelyst Park are also listed for preservation. Read the background for the preservation proposal (in Danish).

Harder to move a wall

From the very beginning of the consultation process, the proposed buildings and park areas will be considered as listed, and the university must apply for permission for all initiatives – on top of the normal maintenance. This will lead to some significant challenges for the development of the facilities in the affected buildings, emphasises Head of Campus Planning and Projects, Charlotte Lyngholm.

“For example, it could mean that moving a wall or replacing a ceiling or lighting in a listed building would be much harder. So it is crucial that we develop a detailed plan for how we ensure the continuous and necessary development of our campuses,” says Charlotte Lyngholm, and explains that the university now will begin dialogues with the agency.

Facts about the preservation proposal

  • The Special Building Survey has nominated 26 out of 150 buildings to the Agency for Culture and Palaces for preservation, which are divided between nine building complexes in the University Park and the Vennelyst Park.
  • The proposal also contains a preservation of all areas in the University Park, the Vennelyst Park and the area by Galgebakken as a single landscape architectural unit.
  • The preservation proposal has been sent to public consultation, which lasts until 11 December 2022.
  • After the end of the consultation period, the Agency for Culture and Palaces has three months to decide – taking into consideration the consultation responses – whether the agency will approve with the preservation proposals or not.
  • According to the law, it is the Minister of Culture who has the final say on whether the buildings should be preserved.

Further information

If you have any questions, please contact Head of Press and Communication Sys Christina or Head of Campus Planning and Projects Charlotte Lyngholm