Rockmagneten is located between Roskilde city centre and the grounds of the annual rock festival.  The brief demanded the old industrial halls on the site be preserved, as well as its informal character: currently used by artists, skaters and musicians. By proposing new volumes above the existing halls, the existing building fabric and creative informal character are retained, with free, or unprogrammed public space taking pride of place over formal cultural facilities.


Location: Roskilde, Denmark

Year: 2011

Client: Danmarks Rockmuseum, Roskilde Festival Hojskole and Roskildegruppen

Program: 45.000 m2 regeneration masterplan, including Museum for Danish Rock Music, Folk Music School with student housing, office and conference facilities and communal housing

Budget: Undisclosed




The masterplan proposes transforming a 45.000m2 former industrial site into a dense new neighbourhood, including the renovation of 8.000m2 of historic factory halls, organized around a plaza for events. Three new volumes will be added on top of the halls: The 11.000m2 Rockmagneten consisting of The Danish Rock Museum, The Roskilde Festival Folk Music School and accompanying student housing, and the headquarters of the famous Roskilde Rock Festival. Together these facilities share a housing community for artists, musicians, and other creatives.


The site is located between Roskilde city centre and the Festival grounds of the annual rock festival. The brief demanded to preserve the halls of the former concrete factory Unicon and the informal character of the site which is currently used by artists, skaters and musicians. The aim of the design is to maintain a contrast between old and new by preserving the existing fabric as much as possible and positioning the new volumes above the existing halls. In addition to this, there was the goal of retaining the informal activities taken place there already. The masterplan defines areas for future buildings and temporary pavilions around a large event plaza connecting the halls and the Rockmagneten with the main street.


The old factory buildings will be newly insulated and opened up to daylight with large expanses of glazing while retaining their industrial character. Wide open spaces inside the halls will then be interconnected and partly filled with elements of the Rockmagneten's public program, with the rest left as informal, undefined or ´free space´space where temporary activities, events, exhibitions or even spontaneous creativity can take place. The halls function as the heart of the creative hub for the Musicon area.


Three new volumes will be added on top of the halls. The Danish Rock Museum is the main focus of the masterplan with a facade of gold-coloured spikes as a direct reflection of its contents. The exhibition concept of the new museum is based on the rock star experience, like ‘the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust’. The foyer of the museum not only provides access to the whole of the Rockmagneten but can also be used as an outdoor concert stage, performing towards either the large public plaza on one side or the refurbished industrial halls on the other. The Roskilde Festival Headquarter is an office block on top of one of the factory halls shaped as a stack of loudspeakers with a black rubber facade. Some of the speakers are real and can be used for concerts on the plaza. The Roskilde Festival Folk Music School will occupy one of the halls with rooms for lectures, study, lounges etc., positioned around an open space containing a fireplace. A 3-level circular volume on top of the halls contains 80 double rooms for students.



Design: MVRDV - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries 

Design Team: Jacob van Rijs, Fokke Moerel with Klaas Hofman, Jaap Baselmans, Yiyi Yang, Doris Goldstein, Maria Lopez, Nicholas Berdon, Francisco Pomares, Matias Thomsen, Buster Christensen, Mette Rasmussen, Sara Bjelke, Rune Veile, Francesca Becchi, Nas Alkhaldi and Sara Impera



Co-architects: COBE Arkitekter, Denmark

Landscape Architect: LIW Planning, Denmark

Sustainability: Arup, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Transsolar, Stuttgart, Germany

Structure: Arup, London, United Kingdom

Engineering and Costing: Wessberg, Herlev, Denmark

Fire Safety: DVI, Dansk Brand Institute, Denmark

Exhibition Design: kossmann.dejong, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Renderings: Luxigon, Paris, France

Model: COBE Arkitekter, Denmark


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