New green student halls community
New student halls of residence have been built in northern Aarhus, Denmark, with various sections using a converted former office building. The 312 student residences are a good example of how the use of an existing building can bring something extra to a project.
The Tranekollegiet student halls take their name from Tranekærvej, the street where they stand. The building's structure was designed on the basis of the two existing buildings, with their characteristic curves, and the aim of constructing a central communal hall. Additional student housing has been built parallel to the two former commercial buildings from the 1960s. The structure achieves a unified identity by using green common areas, rainwater beds and, not least, the central square. This is also the location of the communal building, which is instantly recognisable with its pitched roof and retracted glass section in the gable end that looks out onto the forecourt.
The common facilities include a common room with kitchen on the upper floor and a fitness room and laundry on the lower floor. The graphic appearance of the building's exterior is continued into its interior, using black Troldtekt line panels. The Troldtekt ceiling helps to visually unify the building's lower floor functions, while also ensuring that all the rooms have good acoustics.
Social, material and economic sustainability
The halls of residence design successfully integrates converted existing buildings together with a new build into one combined entity. The structure, scale and choice of materials all work well together. The architectural concept was to use the new cladding to emphasise the curved shapes of the original buildings. The buildings had stood derelict since 2014, as evidenced by their appearance. The buildings were often subjected to vandalism and even fire, which made the local area seem less safe. The conversion project saved 600 tonnes of CO2 by reusing the buildings' main structures.
Tranekollegiet is one of eighteen projects nominated for the Danish Retrofit Award (Renoverprisen) 2023. One of the parameters that is weighted in the selection is how sustainability has been considered in the project and that the building should stand as a strong example of quality building conversion.