Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Health cuts the ribbon to inaugurate Denmark's most intelligent research building

On 8 October, the Faculty of Health will inaugurate the Department of Biomedicine's new research building, which is named after the recently deceased Nobel Prize winner Jens Christian Skou. Fittingly, the inauguration takes place on what would have been his 100th birthday. The Minister for Transport, Building, and Housing, the Mayor of Aarhus and Skou's family will be among the participants.

2018.10.03 | Mette Louise Ohana

[Translate to English:] Skou-bygningen

The Skou Building contains research laboratories, offices, a large laboratory animal facility for mice and space for approx. 300 employees. Photo: Lars Kruse, Aarhus University.


The University Park in Aarhus has a new resident on C. F. Møllers Allé. From the outside, the seven-storey building blends in with its surroundings and the traditional yellow brick and architecture in C. F. Møller's spirit. But inside there is no doubt that you are in a modern environment.

The new research building contains state-of-the-art laboratories and an advanced laboratory animal facility for mice and rats which are used for research into health and diseases. A large, light-filled atrium connects all the floors, and glass walls in offices and meeting rooms make the building open and transparent. Soon it will be the workplace for more than 300 biomedicine researchers, laboratory technicians and students.

"We’re really looking forward to moving into the building. It has a lot of modern facilities that will enhance research, and the building will hopefully also stimulate new research partnerships as researchers meet one another more across different fields of research," says Thomas G. Jensen, department head at the Department of Biomedicine.

Skou's widow will cut the ribbon

The building is named after Nobel Prize winner Jens Christian Skou (1918-2018), who was previously employed at the Department of Biomedicine. He laid the foundation for much of the research taking place at the department today, where the researchers are still among the international elite. The ribbon will be cut by Jens Christian Skou's widow Ellen-Margrethe Skou on the day that he would have turned one hundred years old.

Participants in the inauguration include the Minister for Transport, Building, and Housing, Ole Birk Olesen (Liberal Alliance), the Mayor of Aarhus, Jacob Bundsgaard (Social Democrats), Chair of the Nobel Prize Committee for Medicine/Physiology, Professor Anna Wedell, and Jens Christian Skou's family.

Seven-storey technological mecca

The Skou Building will – together with the Bartholin Building – bring together both the facilities and researchers from the Department of Biomedicine, which is today spread across six different addresses. Researchers from the DANDRITE research centre will also move into the Skou Building.

The building provides researchers with access to an approx. 15,000 m2 high-tech workplace with new class 1 and 2 laboratories, making it possible to work with genetically modified organisms and animals, and a complete laboratory animal facility that can accommodate up to 30,000 mice and rats. Around forty per cent of the building's volume consists of technological solutions, much of which cannot be seen with the naked eye. But this technology is the source of e.g. much improved ventilation, where 99.99 per cent of the air can be filtered, and water treatment that provides cleaner water than drinking water.

The laboratory animal facility also has new technical installations including a number of airshowers that blow allergens off of clothing before entering the facility. An airlock between the open and closed part of the facility ensures the risk of infection between the mice is minimised. Robots also change and wash the cages – something that was previously hard manual labour – and do so at a speed that would be impossible for humans, washing 9,500 standard cages in thirty hours.

The Skou Building is owned by the Danish Building and Property Agency, which has a budget of approx. DKK 650 million. The project is designed by Cubo Architects A/S (full-service consultant), consulting engineers Lemming & Eriksson and Søren Jensen, as well as landscape architects Møller & Grønborg.

The inauguration takes place on Monday 8 October at 11:00 and is for invited guests only.

Skou's 100th birthday anniversary is also being honoured at the Steno Museum, which opens the exhibition "Science is passion" on the same day. The exhibition features Skou's actual office, which has been transferred to the museum. In addition, Health awards its talent prize, the Jens Christian Skou Award, to a researcher on Thursday 11 October. 


Secretariat Manager Morten Pless
Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University
Mobile: (+45) 2059 7784
Email: pless@biomed.au.dk

Events, Administration (Academic), Academic staff, Department of Biomedicine, Health, Research, Health and disease, Technical / administrative staff, Health, PhD students