VEGA – Folkets Hus: Classic Functionalism for Lovers of Live Music

Culture

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© Rasmus Hjortshøj
 

Prince, Coldplay, Kylie Minogue, David Bowie and countless other musicians have played in VEGA’s lofty halls in the past 25 years, with audiences standing shoulder to shoulder and singing along with their idols. For seven decades, the building has been a thriving venue, bringing together politicians, Copenhageners, musicians, music fans and party lovers.

VEGA’s concert halls – Store VEGA, Lille VEGA and Ideal Bar – invite people to visit and explore the building’s quirky features that showcase the Functionalism style of the 1950s. The building was designed by Vilhelm Lauritzen and opened its doors in 1956. A design that displayed without pretense its structure of reinforced concrete and glass. The building served as a meeting place for the Danish labor movement until it was forced to close in the early 1990s.

Resurrection

The abandoned building had fallen into disrepair when Danish artist Bjørn Nørgaard visited it in the following years. Then, together with the politician Svend Auken, he led a successful campaign that eventually resulted in the building being listed as a historical monument in 1994. Vega was completely restored and opened its doors to the public again in connection with the celebration of Copenhagen as the European Capital of Culture in 1996.

Design from top to bottom by Vilhelm Lauritzen

Today, VEGA is still considered an extraordinary masterpiece. The dark wooden panels, mahogany flooring, ornamental friezes, and beautifully designed original details, like banisters and lamps, makes the building an architectural gem of classic Scandinavian style. Vilhelm Lauritzen designed all the decor himself, integrating the doorknobs, chandeliers, electrical sockets, furnishings, the detailed wooden panels, and labyrinthine staircases into the building’s design.

A Copenhagen Landmark

This classic example of Functionalism is located in the lively Vesterbro district of Copenhagen with Enghave Plads square and the metro just outside its doors. The building’s exterior facade features a three-story-high ceramic bas-relief created by Danish artist Dan Sterup-Hansen. Vilhelm Lauritzen’s Nordic architecture – together with the giant artwork on the facade – make the building a landmark for the neighborhood around Enghavevej in Copenhagen.

Area

Copenhagen, Vesterbro

Architect

Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects

Client

Arbejdernes Fællesorganisation

Collaborator

Birch & Krogboe
Rambøll

Artist

Dan Sterup-Hansen

Built

1956

Renovated

1996