Aarhus Boathouse

Arkitektskolen Aarhus

Boathouse, completed structure


The assignment focused on thinking through making, exploring construction at 1:1 scale, with the intention of acquiring fundamental notions about materials, manufacturing and construction in an intuitive and direct way. During the workshop the entire group operated as a team and collectively designed, manufacture, assembly and construct on site a small building. The building typology that we explored during the workshop is a temporary boat shelter, consisting of a basic pitched roof frame. It’s a common form of construction that can be found in Aarhus harbour utilised to protect small boats during the winter period or for repairs. The bricolage nature of the structure derives from an intuitive and clever use of standard materials, bearing an inventiveness that derives from physically working with the materials implemented. The result is a covering achieved with minimum amount of material and reduced weight. The ambition of the workshop was to design, manufacture and construct architecture from standard materials using basic tools.

Prior to the commencement of the workshop, untreated softwood sections, screws, vinyl Tarpaulin fabric and fixings have been specifically purchased and stocked. Plywood, cement and sand were already available in the workshop. The boat shelter was designed, manufactured and assembled in school and then dismounted, transported and reassembled in Aarhus harbour and donated to the local boating community. In the afternoon of the first day of the workshop a first visit of the harbour allowed for a basic survey of the site and also to look at built boat shelter precedents in order to understand place and typology. The first stage of the workshop was a short and intense design competition. Over two days teams of 5 students each developed a design proposal implementing only the available material. A winner was collectively chosen from the 9 proposals submitted for the competition and from this point onwards the entire group worked on the development of the chosen proposal. Organised in 9 work teams with clear tasks and resources, during 3 days we developed the competition proposal into a building project through the development of working drawings and models. Each work team made fabrication drawings for manufacturing of the various components and assemblies.

In parallel to the realisation of the fabrication drawings, a 1:10 wood model and 1:1 prototypes were made to test the construction solutions adopted and the structural integrity of the shelter. On day 8 we passed from the design development phase to manufacturing and construction. Structural, covering and anchoring components were manufactured in the school with the use of the workshop facilities. As the various components were manufactured, over a week the complete assembly of the building was executed in a dedicated space in the school. The structure remained in the school over the summer and was then disassembled and donated to the boating community of Aarhus Harbour.


Aarhus Boathouse
Elective workshop spring semester 2016
Aarhus School of Architecture


Amanda Breum Skovsted, Anne Sofie Vadstrup Pedersen, Ann-Sofie Nielsen, Arvid Andersson Gammelgaard, Asger Skov Rasmussen, Cecilie Siw Christensen, Christian Stoveland Blindheim, Daniel Seyed Jebraili, Dea Bach Hald, Eileen Stornebrink, Eilif Engebret Dahl, Emil Christoffer Rasborg Laursen, Emma Sofie Sønju, Erlend Goplen Haug, Frederik Ellegaard Haukrogh, Hermine Alienor Magali Nicole Hedreul, Jeppe Skøde Pagels, Jesper Andreas Christiansen, Jesper Asferg Scheel, Jesper Drejer Vestergård, Kristine Mølgaard Saxhaug, Lin Birk Jensen, Line Merete Janson

Thanks to:

Lars Nicolai Bock
Rasmus Grønbæk Hansen
Niels Nygaard
Lars Holt
Felicia Emanuelsson