Regina - Landscape

From unused backyard to a communal green oasis in central Aarhus

In the transformation of Regina, the inner courtyard of the building has been converted from an unused backyard to a place where the building’s about 100 residents can gather and meet.

In the middle of the pulsatory pedestrian shopping street in Aarhus you find the historic building Regina. The building has earlier functioned as hotel, cinema and later as office premises, but now it comprises 39 apartments, shopping life and not at least an accommodating green backyard. As a part of the transformation of Regina, the landscape team of Årstiderne Arkitekter converted the backyard of the building into a new gathering point for the residents with possibilities of relaxation plant-growing and playing.

“The design of the backyard, which used to be devoid of recreational facilities, is a perfect example of how an unused urban space can be upgraded to include brand new functions which add immense recreational value.”
Carina Rosenbech, Creative Manager for Landscape Architecture

Today, an attractive inner courtyard environment has been shaped, which adds value for the residents with various zones for relaxation as well as activities. For example, a delightful green oasis has been created, where the residents can meet up, relax, play with their children and grow plants in the many raised beds.

The roof of the old cinema and the dome have been covered with a green and climate-friendly roof which, in addition to its obvious aesthetic qualities, integrate rainwater management, thereby relieving the sewer systems during downpours. Moreover, the green roofs support biodiversity in the city as habitats for insects, butterflies etc.

Aarhus | Denmark
1.300 m2
CJ Group | Tri-Consult | Fagerhult

A safe and green space
In the design of the inner courtyard, efforts have been made to make the spaces as green as attractive as possible, so they invite to relaxation and passage.  The perennial bowls and plants soften the spaces and give the backyard lushness. Before the transformation, the inner courtyard was marked by a cold backyard vibe – today it is replaced with a lively and safe atmosphere. The small siting niches, the lightning and the plantation make the space inviting, so the area can be used in the darker hours of the day. For instance, terraces, playground and the green climate roofs are lit-up. The lighting design is created to make the residents feel as safe as possible e.g. by establishing through-going lit paths.

On the top of the old cinema a newly established, round terrace floats, which functions as an extra open space for the residents, where they have a view over the city. The design of the round terrace is aligned with the original design idiom of the Regina building, which was created by Axel Høeg-Hansen in 1918. The look of the building is characterised by numerous round and organic shapes, for example the dome, the concave corner and the rounded entrances. In addition, the newly established private balconies, railings and staircases have been designed in accordance with the building’s original architecture and idiom.