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New design for ARoS extension

With two new works of art by the American artist James Turrell and a donation from the New Carlsberg Foundation of DKK 20 m, ARoS is ready to present the new design for the extension with the working title The Next Level.

‘A unique project – also in a world context,’ says Karsten Ohrt, New Carlsberg Foundation

After a lengthy work process consisting of a series of workshops held jointly with the artist James Turrell, the architects schmidt/hammer/lassen, and the museum management, ARoS is able to unveil new plans for the extension project The Next Level. The extension will be both better and cheaper than the original project and, with the recent donation from the New Carlsberg Foundation of DKK 20 m, the funding of the project is now well underway.

‘We’re very grateful for the donation from the New Carlsberg Foundation, which means that we can now present the new design for the extension project at ARoS,’ says museum director Erlend G. Høyersten, ARoS. 

The New Carlsberg Foundation states:

‘It’s a great pleasure for us to donate DKK 20 m to help realise the extension project at ARoS. James Turrell is one of the world’s leading artists and his works of art will once again point to ARoS as a significant player on the international art scene,’ says Karsten Ohrt, chair of the New Carlsberg Foundation.

In 2001, the Foundation donated DKK 40 m to the former Aarhus Art Museum with which to purchase art, which led to the new ARoS Aarhus Art Museum. In the same way, the Foundation hopes that this new donation may be a step in the right direction to realise The Next Level.

The total cost of the extension is set at DKK 230 m, of which the foundation Købmand Herman Sallings Fond has already donated DKK 100 m.

The construction will be effectuated in collaboration with the Aarhus City Dept. for Culture and Citizens’ Advice Service. It is scheduled to be ready in 2018.


The Next Level comprises several elements: a gallery measuring 1200 square metres with adjoining storage rooms and two works by James Turrell, The Sphere and The Dome. The one work included in the original project has now increased to two. The extension is linked to the existing building and there will be access to the subterranean gallery and works of art via the present foyer by the temporary exhibition gallery opposite Ron Mueck’s sculpture Boy.

Both James Turrell’s works appear as an integral part of the architecture. The Sphere is a ball-shaped, spherical light installation that visitors pass through or circumvent on their way to the new gallery beneath the square Officerspladsen. From the gallery, visitors continue into the Pantheon-inspired The Dome from where visitors can see the sky through a circular hole in the ceiling. 

It will be necessary to redesign the surrounding city park giving Aarhus a unique opportunity to create a new urban space. James Turrell will also be involved in this work.


Since the 1960s, the American artist James Turrell (b. 1943) has worked with light, colours, and spatial installations. Today, he enjoys worldwide recognition in this field with permanent installations in more than 26 countries. Turrell is a trained psychologist and has studied mathematics, geology, and astronomy. A common feature of his work is enveloping the visitor in light and colour controlled by the artist.

James Turrell’s best known work is Roden Crater – an extinct volcano in the Arizona Desert, constituting the world’s largest work of art. He purchased the 400,000 year-old and three-kilometre-wide crater in 1979, which has since become a lifelong art project: he is building an enormous observatory where the light qualities of the sky can be studied over a 24-hour period. Turrell is also known for his Sky spaces of which the first was created in 1975. Turrell’s often vividly coloured spatial installations resemble three-dimensional light paintings where he, like a modern-day Michelangelo, links the terrestrial with the celestial and body and emotion with mind and thought.


Erlend G. Høyersten
Director, ARoS
T: 87306600 |

Anne Riis
Press Officer, ARoS
T: 8730 6621 | M: 2535 7444 |

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©ARoS 2017