Parish hall and modern workplace in Denmark's oldest town. Elevated above the ruins of Ribe's canonical monastery, the building rests on its raw concrete columns, giving them new life as part of the urban space.
In Ribe, the cathedral towers above the low buildings in the medieval town. Kannikegården frames the church square and serves as a modern workplace in Denmark's oldest town. It hosts the church’s daily work as well as a rich public life, with lectures, concerts and film screenings.
With its solid tile cladding, the parish hall also safeguards the listed ruin of the town’s canonical monastery dating from the 1100s. Rising above the ruins, it has created a new exhibition space in town, and makes the ruins both visible and accessible to city residents and visitors.
Time travel and a new age
Kannikegården is a homage to both times and Ribe itself. One of Denmark's newest tile buildings tells the story of the ruins of the oldest; Lunch in the lunch room of the parish hall is enjoyed with a view of what once was the monastery's dining hall in the 1100s.
Ribe’s smooth cobblestones and skewed houses tell us about the passage of time. Kannikegården’s cladding of large, custom-made tiles is a modern interpretation of the town's tradition of using rough medieval bricks and contributes in and of itself a new layer to Ribe’s rich cultural history.
The concrete encircling the ruin and the tiles of the facade bear clear traces of the production process; imprints of sand and perforations from the oven’s steel plates create patterns in the tile, just as the uneven, layered moulding of the concrete is the materials’ way of telling the story of a 1300-year-old town and its many historical layers.
The smaller, scattered windows create a focused view of the surroundings and a calm facade with a solid block expression - a calmness made tangible inside as an atmosphere of intimate homeliness for church staff.
Torvet 15, Ribe, Denmark
Ribe Church Council
1st prize won in design contest 2012
Awards and honours
2017 Mies van der Rohe Award, finalist