Core Course Week: Three days in sketchs

A week behind but here we go: my experience with core course week!

As I have mentioned before, Core Course week is a hectic week of traveling with a group of roughly twenty students. My group went to Western Denmark. In this post are some of my sketches from over the three day trip. Due to being in the architecture core course group, at each location I had to capture my surroundings in my sketch book.

Here are a list of the places I went to:

  • Day 1:
    • Trapholt Museum
    • Koldinghus
    • University of Southern Denmark
  • Day 2:
    • Aarhus Crematorium Chapel
    • Dokk1
    • Skanderupkike
  • Day 3:
    • Aarus Radhus
    • ARoS Kunstrumesseum
    • Aarhus Street Food

Denmark is a country made up of a series of islands. To get to western Denmark, also known as Jutland, we had to cross a few huge bridges.

I don’t like bridges




My three favorite exhibits

Located in Kolding, Trapholt is a Danish art museum.

This museum has a great Arne Jacobsen display. Arne Jacobsen is one of Denmark’s most famous architects. His work covers architecture, design, and what is known as “handicrafts”. The exhibit covers this, with a special attention paid to the chair he designed. According to the exhibit he helped shaped what we today associate with Danish Design. You can read more about the Arne Jacobsen exhibit here.

Situated in a beautiful landscape the Trapholt overlooks the Kolding Fjord. One of the famous attractions of the Trapholt museum is its main architectual element, known as The Long Wall. Serving as a divided between the Eastern and Western grounds the wall remains largely unchanged since the opening in 1988. The last section of the Long Wall separates the museum’s parking lot from the sculpture garden. This is an external extension of the msuem’s prominent main axis



Known as Jutland’s last royal city, Koldinghus is home to a beautiful castle that stands prominently over the city. The location became a major trading city due to the traffic between Denmark and Germany.

I spent almost the entire hour we had here running around trying to see all the rooms. Behind every door is a new surprise. Beautiful vaulted ceilings make the castle feel light, yet strong. I climbed up 8 levels of a spiral staircase to look out over the city. The beautiful area surrounding the castle is a picturesque European town. Which of course required a photo.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sky and outdoor
Classic Study Abroad Photo

As you can see in the photo I am a heavily armed tourist: camera & sketchbook always on hand. I highly recommend taking pictures and sketching on site. I often like to take pictures of everything I see and then try to sketch one or two things on site. The drawings I do on site hold a moment or memory that a photo can’t. In my sketchbook, I will then reference the photos I took to add to the on site drawings.

University of Southern Denmark:

A great color palette throughout the building

One of the oddest visits we made was to the University of Southern Denmark. They have a beautiful campus. The building we visited was very well organized. Lots of seating for students to either sit and study or meet with a group. I was impressed that every single seat had it’s own access to power. Something that makes a huge difference in where you will study. The space also had great acoustics. I believe this is due to great use of wood slats and acoustic felt. I will have to remember this.


Aarhus Crematorium Chapel:


Designed by the architect Henning Larsen in 1968, the Crematorium Chapel is a beautifully simple space. The minimalist design focuses on the spaces being a crossing between life and death. Everything within the space is split down the middle, including the chairs. There are only five materials used within the space; wood, brink, cement, tombac, and light.

Light plays a very important role within the space. Coming down from the top, the light washes down the wall in a triangular shape perfectly framing the cross and shelf below. This design is a perfect reminder of the importance of light within space.



One of the most interesting library/public spaces I have ever been. It is extremely well organized. There is something there for anyone of at any age level. Including those only a few minutes old. In the center of the space is a beautiful gold gong. Each time a baby is born in the community a nurse pushes a button at the hospital that causes the gong to ring out, letting everyone know of the new arrival.

The space I sketched was one of my favorite within the library. It is a large central space that gradually rises with ramps, stairs, and flat areas with various seating. I found it interesting how many different ways people used the space as the same time. Everyone I was with wished we could have a space like this to use in our local communities.



As one of the oldest standing churches in the country, built around 1050. The church sits on top of a hill, surrounded by a simple, but beautifully cemetery. The Skanderup Church is a  simple, asymmetric structure from the outside. Inside the walls and vaulted arches are covered in deep red and blue fresco’s. The paintings date back to approximately 1170 and are motifs unique to Nordic church art.


Aarus Radhus:


Built in 1941 this building marked the 500th anniversary of the city. This is the cities third town hall building. A competition was created to come up with the design that created “a distinct administrative building, a working building without something sought pompous and without a mock ” town hall style “” .

The winners of the competition were  the famous architects Arne Jacobsen and Erik Møller. They have designed every last detail of the building, as Arne Jacobsen is famous for doing with his designs.

I was enamored with the floors in the building. The entry had a simple mosaic floor with a black and white pattern that had a subtle variation to it. Other parts of the building had herringbone wood floors that, while all made of the same wood, had a large variation in color due to how the tree reacts to it’s environment while growing.

ARoS Kunstrumesseum:


Or as everyone at DIS calls it; the rainbow museum. This nickname is given due to the installation on the roof. The “Your Rainbow Panorama” is every Instagram lovers dream. You get a 360 degree look at the city though a 150 meter long circular walkway which gradually transitions through the color spectrum. Created by the world famous Danish-Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson, the permanent exhibit opened in May 2011. This is a must see exhibit.



The rest of the museum is beautifully done. My favorite piece was in the lobby. It is a hyper-realistic statue of a female street performer pretending to be a statue. It is so well done everyone debates whether she is real or not, the artist even included what appears to be the performers bag on the floor behind her.


I would highly recommend this museum to anyone. There are so many different exhibits, each beatifically curated. On the top level of the museum is a collection paintings ranging from classical landscapes to contemporary make believe places. The exhibit is set up in a loose timeline of paintings, sharing insight into how and why art has evolved over time. I really enjoyed this exhibit because you were exposed to so many different works and able to understand why they are all equally important works of art.

The Boy

Lastly, I will mention the one of the most powerful exhibits. The exhibition: No Man Is an Island – The Satanic Verses, is a collection of artwork that challenges the viewers ideas about Europe and contemporary society. Here you can see the Boy, crouching in the opening of the exhibit, a Lamborghini visitors are allowed to scratch with a key, and homeless people’s signs hung in ornate frames.

Aarhus Street Food:

This is a fun place to get lunch. I was handed 100 KR by my group leader and off I went into the maze of container bins. With my 100 KR I was able to buy a full meal consisting of 6 wings, carrots, and corn on the cob, and a delicious Oreo banana milkshake. I then proceed to talk everyone I knew into buying a milkshake.


Read more about the Louisiana Museum here and the Maritime Museum here.

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