New craft college tops out in Denmark

11 June 2024
  • Dorte Mandrup
  • Dorte Mandrup
  • Dorte Mandrup
  • Frame & Work

Dorte Mandrup




Iconic building set to inspire new generation of artisans in Herning

The topping-out ceremony has taken place in Herning, Denmark for a new craft college designed by Tenderstream member Dorte Mandrup, with landscape design by Kristine Jensen. The concept for the college conveys a unique architectural identity, providing a fitting space to inspire and motivate the next generation of artisans. Architect at Dorte Mandrup, Thomas Jørgensen, stated: “Today, we are celebrating not only the skilled craftspeople who have poured their knowledge and expertise into every detail of this project: we are also celebrating excellent craftsmanship and the crafts profession as a whole.”

The new college acts as ‘a living textbook’ in crafts disciplines, illustrating how a synergy of architecture and craftmanship can form functional and beautiful designs, built for longevity. Resting under a large, wooden elliptical roof, the college defines a simple, yet characterful gesture in the flat heathland. Workshops and common facilities are placed side by side facing the inner courtyard, while studio flats are placed in the outer perimeter, each with their own terrace. 

The college is connected to the surrounding city and landscape through four large openings with the circular courtyard, creating a shared gathering place around a large wooden bench. The inner part of the roof collects rainwater, which is channelled into an open basin by a controlled waterfall. The design uses natural, robust, and reliable materials rooted in craft traditions – carpentry, masonry, plumbing, and paving. 

Dorte Mandrup stated: “Good craftsmanship nurtures good architecture. The crafts college is an opportunity to not only cultivate a common profession but to strengthen the respect of the crafts traditions and create an inspiring environment where young people can form a strong community around their crafts, learn from each other, and develop their talent. It is important to us, that the building have its own unique identity and a resilient, flexible design that beautifully illustrates what different crafts traditions can create together.” 

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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