HARMONICA, TOWNHOUSES (DK)
Harmonica Townhouses, Herning (DK)
Jæger Holding A/S
Concept design and planning application
The Harmonica Houses, designed by AJGA, are located in the heart of Herning and are intended to be one of the 1st stages of the planned development named “Herning +”.
The “Herning +” urban plan envisions a whole new neighborhood with new housing, city life, green streets and urban spaces and will be an attrative addition to the Herning city center once the regional hospital moves to Gødstrup. The takeover of the old hospital area will be Herning municipality’s biggest urban transformation to date, and is intended to offer high quality living to families of all sizes, living communities for the elderly as well as housing for young people and students.
The project is based on the desire for a denser urban center, where new forms of housing have the opportunity to unfold in what will hopefully in a few years be an expansion and improvement of Herning’s current vibrant urban development. Therefore, in line with the visions of the Herning + plan, the project envisions a row of 9 interlocking Townhouses. Exactly this typology allows densification without necessarily building vertically – A dense / low construction that at one and the same time allows private stays on elevated terraces and socializing in a common ground level garden.
The idea is to create an exclusive building that will attract younger families as well as families where the children have just moved from home, but with a shared desire to still have the opportunity to enjoy the garden together and at the same time have the opportunity for private moments on the terrace. Based on the notion of close, but good, the design language and the architectural concepts are based precisely on these wishes and offer increased privacy through a series of subtle geometric moves that reinforce and articulate this. Thus, each towhouse contains 2 1/2 floors with direct access to outdoor areas on split 4 levels. The front yard gives access to the street and through a green wall is established space for bicycle parking and storage of garbage containers. In addition, there is, half a level higher, direct exit to a semi-private garden. In connection with the kitchen / family room there is also a smaller terrace and finally in connection with the living room there is access to a south-facing roof terrace – All grounded, either through praying or traditional planting.
In order to achieve the large green common areas, a parking cellar is established throughout the size of the plot – This is done, according to the local plan, half a level lowered, which gives more direct access to the homes, and a number of split level plans that form double high ceilings. This further enables the upper level to be withdrawn from the facade to reduce the proximity to neighbors. All in all, this translates into a modern design language expressed in traditional materials. Thus, according to the local plan, the material palette is kept simple in wood and brick. All the while giving life through rich planting at all levels. The facades towards Rolighedvej are repetitive, but through their interchangeability an elegant and varied expression is obtained.