Angela Brady’s inspiration: Aarhus town hall, Denmark

Aarhus City Hall on Park Allé, by Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller

The former RIBA president first went to Denmark as a student to study co-housing but fell in love with this gesamtkunstwerk

Aarhus Town Hall, Aarhus, Denmark

Architects: Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller | Completed: 1941

Good architecture uplifts the spirits and puts you in a good mood, and that’s what Aarhus Town Hall does so well.

I first saw the building when I left Dublin after completing my studies. At that time, there was very little work in Ireland so I decided to apply for a European scholarship and luckily got one to study co-housing in Copenhagen for a year. I extended it for six months and transferred to Aarhus, visiting 35 co-housing sites in total across Denmark.

The school of architecture ran a trip to visit the town hall and I immediately loved it. It is a real marker for the town, and the building sits so beautifully in its landscape.

I like that it was won by competition, and was such a great opportunity for young architects to design the key building in Aarhus, which is Denmark’s second city.

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