Klimatorium by 3XN
Location: Lemvig, Denmark
Status: Completed, 2020
The Klimatorium, Denmark’s international climate center in Lemvig, has now been completed. The new climate center combines rustic and pragmatic architecture by 3XN with local nature design and integrated flood protection by SLA. The Klimatorium, Denmark’s international climate center in Lemvig, opened on 9 December 2020. The architects are 3XN and SLA whose design is based on Lemvig’s historic boat-building facilities found in the spectacular natural scenery of the Limfjord and the strong communities of the port. The Klimatorium offers an innovative and creative mini-hub for storm surge, water, and climate research. Its open public facilities and recreational outdoor spaces also offer innovative opportunities to experience, sense, and use the unique natural surroundings of Lemvig and the Limfjord.
The main architectural concept of the Klimatorium is pragmatic, and its materials have been kept in wood, concrete, and steel. The symbol of the building is a wooden ‘wave’ that rises above the main entrance and makes the building an easily recognizable landmark. This motif is inspired by Lemvig’s characteristic fishing boats and is a tribute to the area’s cultural history and local building customs. “A key design element has been to create an inviting building with clear references to the function of the building as well as its location in the Port of Lemvig. The tiled wave made of wood gives the building a strong identity. Both inside and out, it becomes a gathering point and social meeting place for Klimatorium employees and guests as well as the people of Lemvig,” says Jan Ammundsen, architect and senior partner at 3XN. The floating structure and use of glass give the Klimatorium a distinct contemporary look. The building has two levels and has in terms of scale been adapted to fit in with the existing buildings in the port area. The first floor is surrounded by black-stained wooden slats, which give the building a simple and rustic look and protect it against direct sunlight.
Inside, the Klimatorium offers office spaces, meeting rooms, common areas, and a publicly accessible café and exhibition area that focus on creating social synergies by encouraging users of the building to engage in different kinds of interaction, meetings, and collaboration. Visual contact, a flexible framework, attractive meeting points, overlapping functions, and activity-based design all contribute to reinforcing social relations within the building as well as promoting community and innovation.
The Klimatorium highlights the development of the Port of Lemvig from a commercial port to one of Denmark’s most impressive experience ports while the extensive and integrated flood protection of the port is finally completed. Key to this is the project’s landscape and nature design: the Green Climate Corridor. The Climate Corridor is partly an ‘expo landscape’ for users of the Klimatorium and partly a public green urban space with a pleasant microclimate and diverse outdoor urban life options for everyone.
“We use the Climate Corridor to showcase the ways in which we can use nature-based design to climate-proof our cities while adding a whole new layer of nature experiences and activities. The planting consists of hardy native species that thrive in salty coastal environments. The trees have been planted so that they break up the wind, optimize the microclimate and provide space for a number of activities such as a water playground, parkour, and a multi-purpose sports court for roller skating, ball games, and other activities. The flood defense is fully integrated into the urban space so that it does not cut the sea off from the city, but on the contrary, reinforces a connection with the water. This is done by using a multifunctional and fully accessible wooden jetty, which provides a leisure area and space for events and is integrated into the raw and natural stone setting, where children are able to paddle, climb and play and thereby get very close to the sea and the water,” says Karsten Thorlund, head of SLA Aarhus and project manager.