Institut for (X) has a been around for more than 10 years. This timeline shows the development from when we temporarily took over the first building


October 1st 2009
Bureau Detours is given the key to the A-building (the old Custom House) by the municipality. During the exchange they are told: ”Just do it properly”.

The A-building
Main building and platform for design, architecture and art.
The platform gets its
name; Institut for (X).


We need more space
Institut for (X) gets access to the B-building during the renovation of Godsbanen. Bureau Detours needs a bigger workshop, and (X) is adding more studios.


Buiding D – Centre of garage culture
The worn down and abandoned D-building building is renovated and transformed into varios spaces for outdoor projects.

The E-shop
The area is expanded with the addition of the E-shop. The collective name ACE Space arises, consisting of the A, C and E-building


The Industry:
The southern neighborhood is impounded. Consists of containers, goods wagons and worksheds.

The F-Building/TETRIS
The largest building. Home to urban entrepreneurs and start-up businesses in design and


THIS IS (X) An exhibition about city development based on the experiences drawn by Institut for (X).
Den grønne kile luftfoto


‘The Green Wedge’
The development of the garden and ‘The Industry’ leads to the idea of a city park. ‘The Green Wedge’ is created.


A project between (X) and the municipality that maps empty buildings in the city for the purpose of using them in the future.

Curator of underground culture in relation with Aarhus as European
Capital of Culture in 2017.

bolig, institut for x
bydelskontoret, institut for x


Aarhus K
The railway goods area is given the name Aarhus K – The creative and cultural city district.

Collaboration between the Mayor’s Department and (X) to create the ‘best possible district’.

The Plant Café
The first Plant Café in Scandinavia opens. Co-operation between Plukk and Mokkahouse.


The Cultural Square
Rethinking the traditional soup kitchen. Located on the cultural square at (X). The ‘Cultural Square’ began gradually as the events held in the A-building became more large-scale. On, and surrounding the square, lies the project bank Gun School, the socially aware soup kitchen ’Ildstedet’ and the neighborhood kiosk ’Yardshoppen’. These actors contribute with popular involvement, social events and an exuberant cultural life in Aarhus K. The square is also part of the walkway ‘The Red Path’.

The Red Path
A red walkway made for skateboarding and walk- ing. Part of the strategy for “nudging” people, who are new in the area, into taking a walk in the district.

Bulldozer day, institut for x


The B, D and F building are torn down to make space for the new Aarhus School of Architecture. However we knew this would happen all along – So no biggie!


We’re staying!
Institut for (X) is still here and the remaining building will be restored and continue to be put to good use. More info will follow. Untill then, just swing by to see for yourselves.

Institut for X luftfoto 2019, institut for (X)
bolig, institut for x

The Future

Coming soon



Idea and function:
Independent platform for entrepreneurial enterprises and cultural events created in 2009. Resides on the old railway goods area named Aarhus K for culture and creativity. Functions as platform for art, culture, start-up businesses and general education. The ‘X’ represents the indefnable, open and transformative.
The daily work at Institut for (X) is communal but with space for the individual. The generated profit is used for continuing upgrades of buildings and facilities. The goal is to create a liveable city with cultural,
artistic and crafsmanlike creativity, a simple sound business model and citizen involvement.

The A-building
The linchpin of the neighbourhood. Also the centre of production and communication. Te building contains ofces, an exhibition room, a workshop and a shared kitchen with appertaining bathrooms. Here you have office people working side by side with designers, architects and artisans.
The place is a breeding ground for projects where theory and practice go hand in hand.

The A-building was the frst building that Institut for (X) assumed control of. The original ambition was to get enough scope to create popular projects in the public space. Institut for (X) stems from this ambition and now the plan is to further develop the A-building. Right now it is part
of ‘Kulturtorvet’ or the ‘Cultural Square’ A where people gather to eat, talk and work.


The B-building
Facilitates musical practice rooms, sound studios, venues and creative workshops for musicians, eventmakers and artists. The focus is on music and art with everything that
implies. The B-building is an independent association but with a close connection to Institut for (X) and the A-building.

Before the B-building was transformed into a music and craf house, the musical practice rooms and sound studios were located at Godsbanen. Afer the renovation of Godsbanen,
(X) was given the key to the building by the municipality. The first projects dealt with the relationship between sound and space.

The C-building
The C-building was historically used for drying tarpaulins. The only building of its kind in Denmark and therefore deemed as cultural heritage. It functions as a big woodshop for Bureau Detours and external collaborators. Designers, architects, carpenters and artisans are working here on a
daily basis.

In the beginning, Bureau Detours used the A-building as a workshop. Quite quickly it became evident that the building could not contain larger projects so the C-building was integrated into (X). Right now we are working with an idea to renovate the building so it can become a part of the ‘Cultural


The D-building makes room for associations and entrepreneurs interested in “green” projects. The D-building is thought of as a classic “garage” with a raw expression containing a greenhouse, a forge, a workshop and many other activities. The building accommodates a Viking fighting group, designers, ecological communities and Permakultur Aarhus.

The original building functioned as a garage and the current building refects that. When (X) integrated the building it was totally worn down, but (X) saw opportunities in renovating it. The idea being that old buildings have an undefnable potential. Next to the building lies two sheds accommodating beekeepers and a community for healthy food.

The E-building
The smallest building on the area. Lies between the A- and the C-building which colloquially is called ACE Space. The idea is to see what smallscale architecture can produce of interesting products and projects. The building functions as a temporary project space and workshop for artists and entrepreneurs.

Troughout the years, the E-shop has accommodated a fashion designer, a design office, a master project, an underground party and a photo studio. The building is going to play an important role in the future plan for ACE Space together with the surrounding buildings and the development plan for Aarhus K.


The industry/Container companies
Consists of more than 30 units such as containers, goods wagons and work sheds. Functions as a producing and industrial allotment quarter with a raw expression. The neighborhood is named ‘The Industry’ due to its metallic appearance and the projects that takes place here. There are blacksmiths, bicycle repairmen, carpenters and artisans amongst musicians, moviepeople and skateboard enthusiasts.

The masterplan for ‘The Industry’ is to let time and the people decide the expression of the neighborhood. Small charming alleys and backyards, that characterises latinquarters, have emerged. The quarter is dominated by meandering and intricate paths, where containers and goods wagons can shoot up. By not having a fixed plan, ‘The Industry’ supports the everchanging I aspect of the development of Aarhus K.

The F-building
Building F is for start-up businesses with focus on architecture and design. One part of the building is called TETRIS due to the shape of the diferent rooms. The idea is based on the well known computer game called TETRIS. It is about building structures from the bottom-up and making sure that a new shape fits into the existing. In the same building, but independent from TETRIS, lies the nightclub ‘Double Rainbow

Troughout the years TETRIS have produced architectural models, handmade wooden tables, lamps, galleries, flms and soundsystems. Today the exclusive focus is on design and architecture. Te ambition is to contribute positively to the creative economy by giving creative freedom to starting entrepreneurs. At the moment TETRIS accommodates 6 drawing practices, a biker club, flexible office space and a Plant Café.


’The Green Wedge’ creates cozy green spaces in the big city and connects the nature of Aarhus’ hinterland with the city centre. The park is a recreational area where people can relax, have activities or make projects. The wedge is both a park and a foot- and cycle path, build in an old railway track
that stretches from Godsbanen towards Ringgadebroen where it connects with the Brabrand path. The wedge ends in Ådalen

When Institut for (X) moved into the old goods area, it was characterised by its industrial history. There was a lot of trash, worn down buildings and railway tracks. Today, the area surrounding ’The Green Wedge’ fourishes. The development of the park is a collaboration between Aarhus Municipality and the local people. The park must therefore be seen as an experiment deeply rooted in local city development.


Spacemakers is a project which mapss the municipallly owned, empty an un-used buildings in Aarhus. The aim of the projectis to facilitate temporay use of the buildings by local, cultural initiatives and construct a process/structure around it
The project is a partnership between Institut for (X) and Aarhus municipality. We work towards the municipality taking over the project in the future.


Collaboration between the Mayor’s Department and Institut for (X) to create ”the best possible district” in Aarhus K. Te collaboration is meant to ensure that Aarhus Municipality achieves its vision for the district by drawing on (X)’s experiences. The City District Office (BDK) functions as the area’s watchdog and makes sure that the district
gets an attitude and a strong identity.

BDK functions as translater between the municipality, the business interests and the citizens. The office produces and discusses plans of action for Aarhus K in collaboration with the district’s stakeholders and citizens. This is refected in the structure: a secretariat, a district team and an assembly.
The goal is to create a liveable city district with attitude and drive.

The Future

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