danish rock museum by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde
image by luxigon
images courtesy of MVRDV and COBE architects




with an opening date projected for 2015, construction has begun on the danish rock museum in roskilde, as part of the ‘ROCKmagneten’ masterplan designed by architecture offices MVRDV and COBE. the overall music district will consist of three new structures and a refurbished factory, which over the coming years will be developed into a community for artists, musicians, and other creative professionals. the museum building is distinguished by its  twenty meter cantilever over the main entry, as well as its external cladding of anodized gold-aluminium pyramids.


the design team won the commission for the project through a competition in 2011, with collaborators including wessberg engineering, norconsult fire safety and LIWplanning landscape architects. the structure will be realized by b. nygaard sørensen A/S contractors.

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

the building cantilevers 20 meters over a red-carpet event space
image by luxigon




the rock museum, with a total floor area of 3,100 sqm over five floors, is comprised of a large exhibition hall, flexible auditorium, café, shop, administration offices, and lobby. the building’s experience seeks to go beyond a typical museum by producing an adventure for visitors, carried out through interactive production rooms, exhibition facilities, a recording studio, library, and research facilities. the foyer is able to be used as an outdoor concert stage, with performances either facing the large public plaza on one side, or the refurbished industrial halls on the other.

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

the complex will include communal housing and teaching facilities
image by luxigon




the masterplan transforms a 45,000 sqm site, formerly a ‘unicon’ concrete factory, into a multifunctional creative hub. the complex is positioned between the urban center of roskilde and its existing festival grounds, and will serve the city’s annual rock event. the rough character of the old industrial spaces will be preserved although insulated and opened to introduce natural daylight. open rooms will be interconnected while a large section of the program will remain undefined for temporary activities, events, exhibitions, and impromptu gatherings.

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

an outdoor space at the back of the museum is used by artists and creatives
image by luxigon




the ROCKmagneten design hovers three large rectangular blocks above the vintage factory. surfaced with gold spikes, the museum entity will contain 3,000 square meters of galleries presenting a rock star experience to visitors. the entry plaza’s red carpet creates a glamorous celebrity entrance while the grand square dually serves to hold open air concerts. the headquarter rectangular block evokes the form of stacked loudspeakers, clad with black rubber to complete its appearance. the educational building is a three level circular volume which contains 80 student dorms. green technologies have been incorporated into the masterplan to ensure the continuation of the organization’s sustainable vision.

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

the roskilde festival hojskole student housing cylindrical form hovers above the existing halls
image by luxigon




jacob van rijs, principal and co-founder of MVRDV, explains, ‘we translated the aesthetics of rock music into an architectural experience. the exuberant metal façade for example is a homage to gregarious front singers such as mick jagger or david bowie’s creation ziggy stardust.’

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

the museum features an external cladding of anodized gold-aluminium pyramids
image by luxigon




COBE owner and creative director, dan stubbergaard, states, ‘translating the energy, image, and attitude of rock into a unique building, ROCKmagneten will be a landmark building with a display box raised eleven meters in the air. dressed in sparkling metal prisms like a stud belt, the museum will be a true glitter-box.’

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

ROCKmagneten is comprised of three new buildings and a factory conversion, with the rock museum at its center
image by luxigon



an animation describing the ROCKmagneten masterplan design
video courtesy of COBE

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

site in musicon, roskilde, denmark

ROCKmagneten by MVRDV and COBE breaks ground in roskilde

existing site




the official ground breaking ceremony for the rock museum will be held on monday the 30th june at 13:00h. danish minister of culture marianne jelved, mayor of roskilde joy mogensen and CEO of realdania jesper nygård will break ground. the event features live music by nelson can, various musical activities and provides information about rockmagneten and the construction process.






project info:


location: roskilde, denmarkclient: danmarks rock museum in collaboration with roskilde festival højskole and roskildegruppen
rockmuseum, folk high school and offices, and urban masterplan
10.881 sqm
1st prize in competition 2011
MVRDV, liw planning, arup london, wessberg and transsolar energietechnik