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Struggles faced during the Pandemic but new possibilities arose


Since the pandemic started storming through the globe over two years ago, the world changed with it. When our everyday lives were turned upside down, it made us turn to our values and realize the most important thing for us as humans are each other. The alternate situation also forced us to find new solutions to working and meeting people, when face-to-face interaction was not possible.

During this exceptional time, we have experienced many challenges in terms of carrying out projects but this also has brought new perspectives on Graphic Concrete application.

As we have entered a more moderate phase of the pandemic Samspillet Musicon is a good reminder of how Graphic Concrete can be implemented as a medium to integrate the story, local demands and messages from an artist inspired by the epidemic situation.  

There is something immensely comforting in the story. As another proof that in the times we are forced to take distance from each other, we always find ways to connect.

Samspillet Musicon is a commercial building having an astonishing facade with Graphic Concrete located in Roskilde, Denmark. The construction was completed in 2021, and it has gotten big attention from locals with the outstanding outcome and the interesting stories behind it. This building consists of 6 floors having approx. 4800 m2 space with terraces, balconies on all floors, and open environments accessible for people for having lunch and meetings.

The building is designed by a well-known Danish architect firm, Arkitema and produced by CRH Concrete. The image on the facade was created by a German-Danish sculptor and visual artist, Christian Lemmerz.

The name, ‘Samspillet’ refers to a special meaning of playing music together in Danish. The window alignment was motived by music rhyme, like notes. As a design concept of building, the architects considered two distinctive identities of the city Roskilde, which is one of the oldest cities and important ones already in the Middle Ages in Denmark. First, Roskilde is famous for its annual music festival. It was the 50th-anniversary last year but unfortunately, the anniversary was cancelled due to the Covid-19 situation. This area has a hippy, alive and contemporary atmosphere including lots of young people around. Also, there was an old concrete factory in the area and the architects tried to transform the area into new living places. So, the name ’Musicon’ was derived from 'Music' and ‘Concrete'.

The inside of the building has been designed to engage activities. Small companies have their own space but they are all different sizes. On the ground floor, there are common areas and shared spaces, and the big atrium at the entrance is visible in all directions.   

The architect wanted a building using concrete, and emphasis on playing concrete since it used to be a concrete factory. There is a contrary - concrete is a raw material and cold, so the building out of concrete gives a cold feeling but people and activities make them warm and alive. The architects provided a frame, and people and activities filling the space would show their personalities.

The artist Christian Lemmerz also highlighted the use of concrete since it is a fascinating material to change color when it is dry or wet. When the 50th anniversary of the festival was cancelled, the artist made an artwork for the façade with a motive of a man wearing a mask. The same motive is also painted on a concrete wall inside the building by the street artist Don John. People may recognize it or not. Close-ups of concrete surfaces are varied - smooth and exposed surfaces give different material feeling. The final result of Graphic Concrete part is astonishing!

Project details 

Architecture: Arkitema K/S
Color: Grey cement & Black aggregates
Pattern: Designer's own
Designer: Christian Lemmerz
Developer/Constructor: Jensen & Nielsen Byggeri
Prefabrication: CRH Concrete
Address: Erhvervshuset Samspillet, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark
Type: Commercial Building
Year: 2021
Photo: CRH Concrete