by Anmol AhujaJan 29, 2021
Incepted on an architecturally unique brief, the Kornets Hus, translating literally to “grain house”, is a brick clad homage to, as well as exhibit of the region’s rich food and farming culture. Fundamentally built as a monument to the life sustaining, elementary “grain” itself, the building uniquely interprets a significant agricultural history and the processes that go behind the piece of grain becoming a morsel in its architectural form, while housing these processes at the same time for visitors to see. The House of Grain is thus slated to be an inspiration centre offering visitors, locals, and employees alike a facility for hands on experiences that facilitate learning the importance of grain, “both for Jutland and the human civilisation”.
Located on the land of an existing farm and bakery, the House of Grain finds itself nestled in a region of diverse landscapes amidst a vast agrarian history. The town of Hjørring in the northern Jutlandic Island in Denmark has some of the oldest traces of settlements nationally and an established cultural landscape, serving as a rich context for the site of the Korets Hus. The building was commissioned back in 2017 when Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter won an invited architectural competition for its design and construction, and was completed and opened to the public in December 2020.
The form of the building employs strict linearity, defined by its two peaking light wells and is derived from a deep dive into the region’s folk culture and agro-heritage. The building’s materiality and appearance thus, that of brick primarily, is a testament to it being of the earth itself, formed in a kiln, much like the baker’s kiln the light wells try to emulate. The unique, albeit indirect relationship that the building establishes with the ground it is built on forms a sight boasting of warm beauty when contrasted against the swaying fields surrounding it.
Its L-shaped plan has an embracing, enclosing sense, overlooking a primed and landscaped patch of land. The inner side of the arms of the ‘L’ is thus punctuated with a row of openings that offer a peek into the activities of the building, while the ends are only just dotted by one. The building is organised around a simple and flexible spatial programme, allowing for a wide variety of activities and functions to take place, as would be required for such a building. Its public spaces are centred around a large bread oven in the middle, including an array of formal and informal seating, while teaching and exhibition spaces are earmarked by natural lighting beneath the enhanced volume of the skylights on either ends of the contiguous floor plate.
The interior planning too reflects an intent to “open-up” to the vast expanse of wheat fields to the west of the building, framing views outward and opening to terraces that influence public activity. The interior scheme on the other hand is entirely muted and minimal, letting the signature form, that of the light wells and the play of light it facilitates within, take centre stage. Both the angular skylights enclosing the wells, while siphoning sunlight into the interior spaces according to their position vis-à-vis the sun, transform through a linear junction into sharp, singly pitched roofs that converge at the fulcrum of its L-shaped plan. The pitch is held by timber frames within, while the same timber translates to the language of the interiors and relatively unadorned furniture.
A warm yellow lighting scheme flushes the spaces of the House of Grain and the edges of its skylights in the hours of twilight.
Name: Kornets Hus/ House of Grain
Location: Hjørring, Denmark
Architects: Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter
Client: Ejendomsfonden Kornets Hus
Size: 680 m2
Status: Completed (2020)