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Denmark's New Rock Museum Is Cooler Than Our Rock Museums

ROCKmagneten is a plan by the always-provocative Dutch architects MVRDV and Denmark-based COBE to create a mini musical village in Roskilde—complete with gold studs and loudspeakers for facades. Rock. And. Roll.

Are you aware of the serious lack of notable music that comes from Denmark? When I read the announcement of the proposal selected for the new Danish Rock Museum, I had to Google what Danish music was out there. And it wasn’t pretty. Luckily the enormous 120,000-square-foot (think two and a half football fields) endeavor isn’t solely meant to display the Danish Way to Rock.

ROCKmagneten is a plan by the always-provocative Dutch architects MVRDV and Denmark and Germany-based COBE to convert a defunct concrete factory in Roskilde, Denmark, into a mini musical village. The plan also includes three new buildings which includes space for the Roskilde Festival Højskole (Folk High School). See that stunning circular building that will hover over the old factory in slide four? That’s the housing for the lucky students. A portion of the converted factory will hold the teaching facilities, study lounges, and the (undoubtedly rocking) hallways. Move over High School Musical and say hello to your much cooler cousin.

The designers say that the museum is "based on the rock star experience, like the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust." Encountering an enormous red carpet while face-to-face with a gold-spiked building is definitely a good start. A stage elevator then shuttles museum-goers to the exhibition hall above. The exhibition space will be flexible to allow for all types of programming.

As for live music: The foyer of the cantilevered museum can double as a performance space. And the building’s golden exterior will serve as a fittingly dramatic backdrop for live shows in the Free Plaza, the public outdoor space. Future students of the Folk High School, please count your lucky stars. My classrooms looked out onto cows and cornfields.

And though I mock Danish rock, I bow to the superior European musical festival. Perhaps the city of Roskilde rings a bell because of the yearly Roskilde Festival. Those people know how to party. Seriously: Four days of music, camping, a stage shared by the likes of Iron Maiden and Portishead, and strap-on urinals. So it comes as no surprise the ROCKmagneten’s village will include the headquarters for the Roskilde Festival. Also not surprising is the office’s façade: a stack of loudspeakers, some of which will work and be used for outdoor concerts.

The first phase of ROCKmagneten will be complete in 2014. Maybe that’s just enough time for Aqua to rehearse for the big opening.

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  • Jacob

    Sure the Danish pop-rock scene is not the most played on radio stations across the world (on that note Michael Learns to Rock is about the least Danish, albeit Danish, band out there - apparently they are huge in Asia for some reason...:S)... However, if you are more inclined towards melancholy rock or electro-rock then there is no better place to than Denmark (check out Stella Polaris, Trentemøller or Mikael Simpson for example)...

  • napkindoodle

    If any country in Europe is well-known for love of rock music in other than the UK, it's definitely Denmark. Loved the funny jabs at Danish pop.

    Although... that example of Michael Learn's to Rock's "Take Me to Your Heart" is actually adapted from a Chinese tune. Hilariously cheesy :)

  • Ruth Gough

    Great article thanks Randi, I want to go! Hope you are well (Ruth, formerly d3o).