Kickstart Tornhøj
2014 - 2018

De­signed for the lo­cal com­mu­nity

From Tunnel under Humlebakken to Bridge over Astrupstien

The project kickstart Tornhøj focus on the suburb Tornhøj in Aalborg, however it is to be seen together with a larger city- and landscape planning strategy commissioned for Aalborg municipality and Realdania, together with Marianne Levinsen Landskab. Lighting design for the path and the stage is developed with Kongshaug.

The core of the project was to rethink the connection between the two neighbourhoods. Instead of being an eerie tunnel under a busy road, it was to become an attractive, light and safe path with qualities that would invite the local community to use it in their everyday and for larger events. Accompanying the path is a sequence of urban spaces; playgrounds, green parks, gardens, scenes and sitting steps. The path can therefore be described as more than simply a connection, but a sequence of urban spaces where the local community can be gather and be strengthened.

Awarded urban space

The project was rewarded the 2018 building prize by Aalborg Municipality for its “new, attractive urban spaces”. In the motivation the committee emphasizes how the project has transformed the previous tunnel into a light pathway with the bridge as a sculptural element in the area and how it, together with the adjoining urban spaces has changed the path from being a monotonous connection into a series of experiences. The committee also points to the importance of a good collaboration and how the project is a leading example of how architecture can be vital in providing good frames for urban life.

Citizen involvement through walks and workshops

Citizen involvement was important for a successful outcome, and the focus and scope of the project was informed in collaboration with the local community.

An active urban life - despite the heavy trafficked road

The two areas which were previously only connected through the dark tunnel now presents as a cohesive series of urban spaces which connects the two, previously divided, areas. The aim of the project was to provide active and diverse offers to the locals, both through everyday activities such as shops, cafés and an urban garden, and as an urban space with sitting steps and scenes which can be used to gather the local community for larger events.


The long run for true urban development

The plans for the development of Aalborg East startet in 2012 with a competition for the masterplan ‘City in between’, won by Team Vandkunsten. In the following years parts and initiatives from the masterplan was realized. First an urban strategy was developed in 2014 for Astrupstien, together with feasibility studies for the kickstart and an urban strategy and local plan for Tornhøj in 2015. Developer for the kickstart project was Realdania and Aalborg Municipality.

Project facts


Project name: Kickstart Tornhøj


Client: Aalborg Municipality and Realdania

Location: Aalborg

Gross area: 10,500

Date: 2014 - 2018

Status: Finished

Cost of construction: DKK 33 mio


Program: Bridge, urban spaces and pathway

Activity: New construction

Job type: Competition

Contact: Jan Albrechtsen,

Project group: Kirstine Fagerlund Hvidegaard, Morten Kjer Jeppesen, Jan Albrechtsen, Thomas Nybo Rasmussen, Olmo Ahlmann, Andreas Skytte Hvid, Pernille Schyum Poulsen


Architect: Vandkunsten

Landscape: Marianne Levinsen

Engineer: Tyrens AS

Contractor: Arkil