Of course, you can take the escalator from the car park up and into the cavernous ground floor of Dokk1. But, at least once, it is worth taking the stairs. Although vertiginous and narrow, the stairs afford sweeping views of Aarhus Harbour and the City’s ongoing reclamation of its waterfront. The crab-like ascension also gives you time to pause and reflect on the scale, commanding position, and ambition that frame this extraordinary public library and citizen centre. A bit like the external garden-facing stairs nestled into the Sydney Opera House, designed by that other Great Dane Jørn Utzon, climbing the stairs of Dokk1 feels like entering a temple. And it is a kind of temple; a 21st century temple to civic experimentation.
October 17, 2017