The project “The Sustainable Pulse” embodies the vision of a fantastic innovative, realizable and sustainable multi-house. The project has three criteria for success: to minimize the impact on the environment, to do this in an economically responsible, and therefore realizable, way, and to enhance the quality of life and the social interaction between users of all ages. The ambitions of “The Pulse” are to produce architecture and a landscape that offers possibilities for social interaction, experiences, adventures, stories and an everyday life for a multitude of people. The building consists of aesthetic spatial experiences and will be a symbol of the crossover between popular culture and the unique!


Cultural building

3.500 m²

Denmark, Balling



Esbensen Ing.

Schul Landskabsarkitekter





Partner in charge: Anders Lendager

Employees: Christopher Carlsen, Jenny Haraldsdottir


The main concept revolves around optimizing economy, environment, context, accessibility, social interaction and energy. The volume of the building is considered a plastic shape capable of being sculpted and adjusted according to different inputs in order to achieve the most optimized solution from the outset.

1. The building’s gross area of 3500 m2 is firstly defined as a basic rectangular shape to start with an economically optimized base point.

2. Environmental- and energy optimization of the building’s volume and surface area produce a circular basic shape.

3. An optimization according to context produces four pockets with potentials for rest and access.

4. Social and functional optimization is achieved by distributing programmes according to the size of the four centres of the Pulse, including the café and shared spaces.

5. Optimization of the volume is gained by increasing the height of the rooms of the pool, the access and the multi-room. The height of the rooms makes the most of daylight and thermal mass. The shaping of the roof along with its orientation towards south and south-east provides a possibility of placing solar water heaters and solar cells, thus decreasing the energy consumption of the building by 30-40%.

6. To ensure ease of construction, which is essential, the building is perceived as a structure consisting of two unities: the large building envelope and the roof versus the smaller spaces that are pushed under the roof, made from prefabricated wooden modules.


The Pulse will act as a best practice example of how sustainability can be thought into a construction project to create added value to its surroundings and exemplify how we can work towards minimizing global climate challenges. Also in the long term. This sustainable vision and mindset is realized and future-proofed within in the following areas:

  • Energy
  • Water and Waste
  • Materials

The building will meet the standards for low energy buildings and will incorporate solutions that allow easy implementation of technical installations such as geothermal heat and solar panels, so that the building can continue to live up to more stringent requirements in the future.


In this competition project we see social and cultural sustainability as making sure that the project has a clear relevance locally and promotes togetherness and a healthy lifestyle. The functions of the building appeal to all age groups with activities ranging from community gardens and an orchard to climbing walls and parkour areas.

The Pulse creates the setting for social interaction. Social meetings between both grandparents and grandchildren. The diverse range within the possible social interactions here makes the building a natural meeting point where people gather to share experiences.

The large roof surface of the building creates continuity and overview that helps the visitor find their way around. The roof gives the visitor an experience of something spectacular and special. The roof shows that all functions and opportunities are gathered in one place – so come, join in the fun!


On-site components are comprised of a concrete floor and basement (approx. 2200 m3), 38 pillars made of recycled aluminium (Swedish/Norwegian produced), Kerto wood construction in standard sizes (600 x 45 mm laminated excess wood), all rectangular pieces joined with steel fastenings as well as recycled brick walls (approx. 68 m2).

Off-site modules are chosen as prefabricated modules that will be made of FSC-certified, locally sourced wood. The prefabrication of all smaller spaces will reduce costs significantly. The idea is also to use the strengths of the modules such as high flexibility, high quality, easy access to installations (in the ceiling), and easy outfitting according to various uses and functions. The modules represent the closed parts of the façade and are thereby also the elements that define the amount and location of sunlight entering the building.