Innovation Factory

Great love of wood was a prime consideration when wood paint manufacturer GORI originally built its Kolding factory in 1978. Production, administration, canteen and R&D were all housed in one large open space, creating the foundations for GORI’s successful and modern workplace culture.

Troldtekt, Innovation Factory
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect MAA

Today, the large buildings in Kolding have been taken over by IBC International Business College and are known as the Innovation Factory. Much of the building’s interior has been preserved and the overall atmosphere retained. This has inspired the refurbishment of the former production area into an auditorium, learning spaces and informal meeting rooms. This includes the large paint tanks, decorated by the artist Jean Dewasne, which been part of the special GORI culture from the very beginning.

The new sculptural layout on two floors is centred around an island with water and plants and this clearly distinguishes the new design from the original. At the same time, it is a contemporary interpretation of open and transparent spaciousness, where wood and acoustic materials are incorporated into the overall aesthetic appearance.

For example, Troldtekt on the ceilings ensures good acoustics in the very large new space, while in the auditorium the walls are clad in wood strips installed on black Troldtekt panels, providing a striking contrast to the auditorium’s glass walls. In particular, it is the use of wood that makes the Innovation Factory so appealing and coherent, despite the obvious differences between the architectural designs of 1978 and 2012.

“Students, teachers and the business community will come together and learn from each other in IBC Innovation Factory’s unique interior, where meetings will be supported and inspired in every conceivable way by the character of the building. We are convinced that the experience of quality and well-being are extremely conducive to creativity,” says John F. Lassen, a partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects.