AAU CPH gets a facelift

AAU CPH gets a facelift

Picture a campus, where the parking lot is changed into green spaces and game fields, where there is life and joy at the harbour front, and where after dark our iconic bridge transforms into a light art installation. A campus with better facilities, more works of art, more colours on the walls, and more free space for both students and employees.

Last modified: 19.09.2016

The above scenario is not just a flimsy vision, but actually a small extract of the many initiatives going on at campus to create a better study environment and to strengthen AAU CPH´s presence in Sydhavnen (the South Harbour of Copenhagen)

AAU CPH changes its signposts

One of the most noticeable changes is on and around the building facades. Here, new signs and logos have already been put up, and during the autumn, a big LED screen facing the Sydhavnsgade will be put up. The outer changes should raise more awareness of AAU CPH´s presence in Copenhagen and contribute to branding AAU as a university of initiatives and visions, both within its walls, and in its interaction with the surrounding community, campus director Martin Vive Ivø explains.

- AAU CPH has a unique location in Copenhagen, and naturally we want to make use of that. The new signs and screens will become a window on the outside to give the public a view of what is going on at AAU CPH.  Putting up screens and signs is a natural continuation of AAU’s strategy ”Knowledge for the World”, the campus director says and points out the plans for the illuminated bridge as a good example:

- For a long time we have wanted to apply light design to the iconic bridge to make it a landmark for AAU CPH and Sydhavnen - also after dark. The illuminated bridge will at the same time become a display window of the skills of our students at Lighting Design – as they are part of the project as well.

Better way-finding at AAU CPH

The outdoor initiatives are just a small part of the facelift. Inside campus many projects go on as well. One of them is to ease way-finding inside the buildings. New campus maps, pictograms, and signs will be put up around campus. And different nudging-initiatives with dots on the floor and conscious use of colours will facilitate way-finding and provide a better visual cohesion between the buildings.

- It is no secret that our campus in Copenhagen still has bearings of the Nokia days. That applies e.g. to the way buildings and rooms are designated which, from an AAU perspective, is no longer meaningful. One first step is to establish better and more homogenous signposting, and to rename the buildings to make it easier to navigate. Next step will be to introduce a new and more logical numbering of all rooms and to display the functionality of the rooms as well, the campus director continues.

Better facilities and more art

Improvement of the indoor climate and upgrading of the facilities in a number of rooms and student areas is underway as well - e.g. a good sum of money has already been allocated to better the air climate in the seminar rooms. The big auditorium has got an overhaul with a new screen and projector, better sound and lighting, and fresh painting on the walls. Also, AAU CPH have become a member of the Art Association  ”Kunst på Arbejde” (Art at Work) which means that every 8 weeks the artwork around campus will be replaced with new pieces.

- I hope that both students and employees will welcome the betterments made during the summer, whereas improvement of the indoor climate is an area of our specific attention. In the Nokia days, they were around 1,800 employees – today we are around 4,500 students and employees. This is, of course, a challenge, and several projects have therefore been initiated to better the indoor climate in the seminar rooms. And for a long time the students have wished for more power plugs – we have not missed that - and around 300 new plugs have been installed and more will follow shortly. Also, another longstanding wish from our students have been fulfilled with the new permanent Student Bar set up in the small canteen, and the dedication of the so-called ”Mirror Hall” entirely for the students’ free use. Finally, AUB (the university library) and some of the institutes at Campus either have already upgraded their student areas or plan to do so - so in overall terms we can say that steps are being taken in the right direction. 

AAU CPH Transforms Outdoor Space 

We also plan to better functionality and appearance of the areas surrounding the buildings. One initiative is to establish more and better bike parking facilities and designated smoking areas near - but not in front of - the main entrances. And additionally, the plans include more trees, running and game fields instead of parking lots, and also to make better use of the water front area and basin, etc.

The outdoor betterments lie, however, somewhat ahead in the future. But in order to put the visions and thoughts on paper we asked the Juul/Frost firm of architects to make a draft overall plan for the areas outlining the various projects - all of which can be implemented independently, if needed. 

-  Planning of the outdoor projects is well under way, but it takes efforts and coordination – not to mention money. I trust, however, that the projects of the Juul/Frost plan, which are based on the outcome of interviews and workshops with students and employees, can be financed externally in cooperation with the building owners and possibly one or more foundations. The plans have been discussed with the City of Copenhagen as well and are, of course, subject to their approval, but so far they are sympathetic to the plans. And rightly so, because not only will students and employees at AAU CPH benefit from the improvements, so will our neighbours in Sydhavnen and a great part of Copenhagen, campus director Martin Vive Ivø concludes.

Further information  

Read more about the general plan on the Campus Intra and take a look at the various projects and their headway here.

The Juul/Frost draft plan for the outdoor areas can be found here: