Ordrupgaard Museum Extension


Roland Halbe

When Ordrupgaard reopened its doors in 2005 after being closed for almost two years, the museum had doubled both its exhibition space and public space.

Af Kirsten Kiser

The growth of Ordrupgaard presented an opportunity to explore new formal relationships between the components of the museum and the garden that frames it, insofar as the ensemble constitutes a kind of topography in itself.
— Zaha Hadid

Ordrupgaard was built in 1918 as a country estate and showcase for insurance magnate Wilhelm Hansen’s remarkable collection of French Impressionist and Danish paintings. It has been a public museum since 1953.

The design is based on Zaha Hadid’s personal interpretation of the surrounding landscape and the relationship to the original building; both in size and in the proportions of the new galleries.

Opacity is achieved by an in-situ black-lava concrete skin acting as a counterpoint to the various glazed elements that reflect the landscape and allow glimpses of the interior. Earthworks and embankments ground the building at key points in the plan.

The new entrance is accessed from a courtyard that physically separates the new building from the existing, long French Gallery building. The foyer runs parallel to the courtyard “pointing” visitors in the direction of the galleries.

Lighting slits act as orienting devices for visitors. Natural light is filtered and moderated as it passes through the building shell — the roof.

A long sloping ramp divides the temporary and permanent gallery spaces, leading to the multi-purpose hall and café, both of which face out to the garden.

Terraces are designed to connect the new to the existing mansion garden terraces, again providing visitors with a visual connection between the buildings.

Even though Zaha Hadid’s building has a strikingly different and contemporary idiom in relation to the original country house, she has managed to capture the special spirit of the site and skillfully bring it up to date. Despite the new extension, Ordrupgaard retains its basic character.
— Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark, director of Ordrupgaard Museum