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Studded: Museum of Rock by MVRDV with COBE

At the Danish Ragnarock Museum of Pop, Rock and Youth Culture, anyone can live the life of a rock star. Rise and fall form the conceptual foundation of the building, which was designed by MVRDV and COBE. Visitors arrive by limousine to walk the red carpet that leads under a huge jutting roof and into the museum. Intermittent spotlights from above create the impression of flashbulbs. After that comes the meteoric rise – by elevator, to the exhibition spaces on the upper storey. There, the large auditorium sets no limit on performances. As so often happens, great success leads to a fall. However, after returning to the ground, no one has to slink home in humiliation. In true rock-star fashion, a bar receives failed musicians and inspired visitors alike.

The building’s shell is, like the belts of many rock stars, adorned with golden studs. The eloxated aluminum forms a striking contrast to the museum’s surrounding area, which is popular with skateboarders and artists. It is actually a former cement factory and will be transformed into an entire complex for rock music. Ragnarock forms the entrance to this area; the architects want to preserve its rough, informal character as much as possible. Inside, matte red studs recall the velvety lining of a guitar case.

“The museum is an expression of rock music as architecture: energy, rebellion and clear statements. It’s loud and provocative” says Jakob van Rijs, co-founder of MVRDV.

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