Social Housing on Lisbjerg Hill
2014 - 2018

The fu­ture of wood con­struc­tion is hy­brid

Sustainability is the entire story

‘Sustainable Non-profit Housing of the Future’ was the ambitious headline of the open competition for a series of demonstration housing schemes launched in 2014 by the Ministry of Cities, Housing and Rural Areas, the city of Aarhus, and the non-profit housing administrator AL2bolig.

Vandkunsten Architects won the competition with a proposal introducing a proven construction system using solid wood elements, and facades from untreated wood. This is our idea of contemporary Danish wood architecture

The project rates high on all the quantifiable measures of sustainability: energy consumption, daylight, carbon footprint etc. Furthermore we have used durability as an overall strategy towards resource conservation.

The project is certified for DGNB Gold

High density, low height and multiple storeys

The competition partners aim at demonstrate two typical types of housing in Denmark: High density, low height and multiple storey-housing. In this way the project will be part of further developing the strong national tradition for housing architecture. The housing scheme will be economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable, in the widest sense of the words.

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Winner of European architecture award for social housing

The jury has appreciated the construction concept of the buildings and the long term thinking, the ecological impact also related to the circular economy, the quality of common spaces and half private spaces in between volumes, the optimization and flexibility of the plans, the low costs. All these aspects have an incredible potential in the development of the system proposed for social housing, states the jury of the VII's edition of the Matilde Baffa Ugo Rivolta European Architecture Award, 2019

Roofscape and wood interiors

The wood-based construction system is visible on interior wooden surfaces and in the variations in roof heights. Also the placement of window openings is very flexible.


The first stage of the masterplan (right) has been completed.

Designed for reuse

We work intensely with the construction details so the components and materials of the housing of the future can be used over and over.

We have set out five steps for the development of a better building practice

Wood based construction system
Reversible construction system
Climate adapted construction techniques
Sense of ownership and community
Mental ressources

Hybrid timer construction with timber, steel, and concrete

Project facts


Project name: Social Housing on Lisbjerg Hill

Category:Housing, R&D, Træ, Wood

Client: AL2bolig

Location: Aarhus

Gross area: 4.100

Date: 2014 - 2018

Status: Finished

Number of units: 40 and a community house

Cost of construction: DKK 56 mio


Program: Non-profit social housing, community house

Activity: New construction

Job type: 1. Prize in open competition

Construction system: Hybrid - Solid wood with facades of untreated wood. Concrete core and parts of the deck

Contact: Kim Dalgaard,

Project group: Kim Dalgaard, Mirjam Hallin, Sigurd Vinde Akselsen, Søren Nielsen, Rasmus Olsen, Katrine West Kristensen, Martin Erik Andersen, Nel Jan Schipull


Architect: Vandkunsten Architects

Landscape: Vandkunsten Architects

Engineer: Moe