New school in natural materials

The newly built Huseby Skole in the Municipality of Trondheim in Norway comprises several schools, each with its own department and identity. However, the architecture throughout is characterised by the same light and natural materials, including Troldtekt acoustic panels. 

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, arkitekt Jens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix

At the start of the school year in 2021, the Huseby schools in Saupstad-Kolstad opened their doors to 14,500 square metres of new facilities in the Municipality of Trondheim. The complex comprises a primary and lower secondary school, a continuation school, a sign language centre, a cultural school as well as reception classes for foreign pupils.

The Municipality of Trondheim was the client for the project, which ran from 2017 to 2021. SPINN Arkitekter, Filter arkitekter, Norconsult and the firm of landscape architects Grindaker were all involved.

The school has earned the environmental certification BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), and several environmental measures have been incorporated – the building site was fossil-free, the school is largely built from solid wood, and the school is designed in accordance with ‘passive house’ principles and with solar cells on the roof.


Meaningful divisions

The primary and lower secondary school and the continuation school each occupy their own building with adjoining outdoor areas. They are connected by the so-called cultural axis, which links the children’s and youth departments. For the pupils, the experience is thus one of attending two different schools in the course of their schooling as the institutions each have their own entrance and their own premises.

There are different-sized rooms for relaxation, meetings and gatherings. The cultural axis is an area that is open to the public, where pupils and visitors can access the school’s cultural and sports facilities, including a gymnasium, hall and music room. In addition, there is a canteen, library and administration department.

The focus has been to create a healthy and modern physical learning environment designed to accommodate alternative teaching methods.


Warm and natural

Right from the start of the project, one of the requirements was that high-quality materials had to be used to ensure that Huseby Skole remains functional for many years, and the school project was also part of the general urban renewal of the neighbourhood. The buildings were constructed using wood both inside and out with wooden cladding on the exterior facades, interior wooden walls and panelling and even wood furniture.

As a natural material, wood helps to create a calm atmosphere infused with warmth. The facade is a warm red-brown colour, which recurs elsewhere in the school, although the interior is generally characterised by light hues and ample daylight.

Troldtekt acoustic panels were selected for both the classrooms and communal areas as well as for the corridors and toilets. The choice fell on the classic white-painted Troldtekt acoustic panels to create an environment that supports a calm and pleasant school day. At the same time, the panels, which are basically made of wood and cement, tie in well with the overall design of the school.