heart – Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark
The permanent and temporary exhibition galleries needed to fulfil very stringent indoor requirements in order to host exhibits owned by other museums. The concept developed for the museum takes advantage of the site specific high level of groundwater, a mean annual temperature of approximately 8°C (46.4°F), high diffuse radiation, and cold winters.
The museum was divided into different zones, for example the circulation and gallery zones, in order to optimize the concept strategies needed to achieve the highest possible user comfort and energy efficiency.
Vertical skylights in the upward curving roof supply the spaces with natural light and, at the same time, expose the walls to the optimal amount of daylight. The gallery skylights are north oriented to prevent direct sunlight and glare. Movable blinds were installed to regulate the amount of light based on the exhibitions’ needs.
Floor heating and cooling activates the building’s thermal mass as a heat source or heat sink. In addition, a displacement ventilation system is used to feed the galleries and the auditorium with fresh air and further conditioning.
The circulation and office zones buffer the galleries from the outside and are naturally ventilated based on their more lenient requirements.
The 50-meter deep geothermal wells are used for free cooling and heat dissipation for the chillers. This was the first system of its kind installed in Denmark and proved to be highly energy and cost efficient. Steven Holl covered parts of the additional costs with a portion of his fee, underlining his commitment for such an holistic design approach.