New school decorates the city of Kongsberg

Vestsiden Ungdomsskole was completed in 2019. The architects have taken the natural setting into account in the expression and choice of materials. The school lies at the end of a park shaped like a ribbon bow.

The city of Kongsberg, which lies southwest of Oslo, Norway, recently gained a new meeting point. A new park has been established with walking and cycling paths in the shape of a bow. Therefore, the new area has been named ‘Sløyfa’ (Norwegian for ‘bow’). One end of the bow leads to the newly built Vestsiden Ungdomsskole school, completed in time to welcome 450 students for the start of the 2019 school year.

Vestsiden Ungdomsskole has a square, two-storey main room, which serves as the school’s meeting point and connects to smaller units. The main room is located on a rise, providing it with excellent natural lighting and views of the city and scenery. The smaller units are not as elevated and connect the building with the existing buildings.

Natural materials as a theme

The school is the result of a joint collaboration between architects Enerhaugen and DRMA, with a key focus on using natural materials that reflect the surroundings.

“The school is largely made of natural materials – wood, bricks and concrete. The colour palette is also based on the colours of the materials – from warm shades of grey to yellow and orange. Inspiration has been drawn from the surroundings, adding to the buildings’ cohesion,” explain Ines Habrecht, architect and partner in Enerhaugen Arkitektur, and architect Christian Eriksen from DRMA.

Vestsiden Ungdomsskole has had Troldtekt acoustic panels installed on the ceilings. The two architects explain why:

“Troldtekt is a natural extension of the palette, both regarding colour and texture, and also has the ideal acoustic properties for these large rooms, with their complex soundscape from the student lockers, library, stage and assembly hall."

Facts

Project:
Vestsiden Ungdomsskole southwest of Oslo, Norway
Architects:
Enerhaugen Arkitekter and DRMA Arkitekter
Troldtekt products
Ceiling panels:
Troldtekt acoustic panels
Colour:
Natural grey
Structure:
Fine (1.5 mm wood wool)
Edge design:
Square edge and rebate for exposed profile, K0-FS and 5 mm beveled edges, K5
Text & photos
Text:
Publico
Photos:
Nils Petter Dale

Awards

Vestsiden Ungdomsskole received the KLP environment prize and Kongsberg Municipality’s 2019 architecture prize. It was also nominated for 2020 School Building of the Year, awarded by Nohrcon, an event and conference company.