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Troldtekt A/S
Mikkel Frost/CEBRA

A building designed as a hymn to Nature

CEBRA as Architects

RebildPorten is a new visitor’s centre and exhibition space for one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in northern Denmark: Rebild Hills and Rold Forest. This area in northern Jutland forms a unique nature reserve, and thus the area holds an extraordinary potential for offering spectacular experiences in this very distinctive rolling landscape. RebildPorten creates a new gathering point that informs, inspires and activates the visitors - an ideal setting for the narrative about the cultural history and nature experiences in these unique surroundings.

RebildPorten’s distinctive expression and character are derived directly from Nature’s own formal language and elements. The structure is designed as a hymn to Nature and the hills and forest, next to which it is situated. It is created in the encounter of building and nature and appears as a sculptural structure made of bluff timber, thus making the building accessible to the eye of the observer - very similar to a forest’s opening and closing when one moves through it, looking upwards through the branches’ chaotic network of crossing lines.

By shaping the building out of raw cut timber, the visitor not only experiences a ‘walk in the forest’, and a particular atmosphere determined by Nature’s own strength and rustic weight, but also the scent of wood and nature, which sets the mood for the visit to the forest and hills.

Communication and guiding Rebild Hills and Rold Forest are centrally located in Northern Jutland and attract approx. 400.000 visitors a year. The visitor’s centre is the gateway to this area, acting both as a key to information and inspiration and as a ‘Chinese box’ where experiences are folded out continuously and new layers are added.

ReboldPorten is the visitor’s window to the unique nature, history and the many activities in the area. At the same time, it aims at contributing to the creation of synergy and a collective identity in a strong and lively local environment with a variety of committed parties.

Thus, communication and guiding becomes a crucial factor for the project’s ability to function as both usable and recognisable gathering point. The project incorporates an overall concept and appearance for communication and presentation, where key design elements ensure recognisability, whether you find yourself in virtual space, out in nature or in the building itself.

The building’s distinct characteristic - the ‘graphic’ strength of the timber’s structure and the visual reference to trees and branches - acts as a matrix for logos, communication elements, media, guiding landscape elements etc., in order to create an appearance and a guiding concept, which tie landscape, building and user experience together in one consecutive narrative.

Rebildporten information centre

Troldtekt A/S as Manufacturers

Rebild National Park and the RoldSkov woods in Denmark comprise a unique landscape and a popular destination for walkers, families with young children, cyclists and others who are keen to discover and enjoy the outstanding countryside. RebildPorten is designed to be a place where people can meet but also as a place where they can obtain information before venturing into the woods and hills. The building comprises three main sections - a covered display facing the car park, an indoor exhibition and glazed information area and a more private area for meetings and a staff room. The facades are characterised by their dramatic rustic construction, with strong parallels to the trees and the woods.

“RebildPorten is a distinctive and characterful building whose design takes its inspiration from the shapes and materials found in nature. It represents a meeting between the built and natural environments, with the use of wood underlining the building’s appearance as a stylised forest,” says Michael Frost, architect and partner at CEBRA architects. “In addition to wood and concrete, we have chosen surface materials with a particular emphasis on sustainability which help create a good indoor climate.”

The building suggests a very pleasant and welcoming entrance with fluid spatial interplay between indoors and the great outdoors on the doorstep. This is reinforced by the recurring use of materials such as wood floors and the natural wood Troldtekt panels which ensure pleasant acoustics in the high ceilinged rooms. The architects have also taken the theme further with modern, stylised tree stumps for stools and beams for display purposes.

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