Sensual interaction

LIFE Campus is a newly built learning centre situated close to Novozymes and DTU in Kgs. Lyngby to the north of Copenhagen.  The LIFE Campus is run by the LIFE Foundation, which organises science courses for primary and secondary schools.

Photo: LIFE Campus, Kgs. Lyngby. Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architectJens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix

The new building is beautifully sited in the landscape, views of which are cleverly framed by 96 oak trunks marking the perimeter of the building and also the transition between the inside and the outside. Inside, the focus is on technology, and the building’s purpose is to shed light on the link between nature and technology – in a sensuous way. LIFE is an acronym of: Learning, Ideas, Fascination and Experiments. The aim is to strengthen children’s and young people’s fascination with science. In the teaching laboratories, pupils are given the opportunity to investigate issues and problems of direct relevance to and which support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The pupils move through the building from the cloakroom area in the basement (where the building’s energy consumption is monitored) to the laboratories on the floor above. This is also where the pupils eat their lunch and have access to the outdoor labs with works of art, the LIFE Arboret and the LIFE Pomet. The staff are primarily based on the first floor, where they have their own eating area.

At the heart of the LIFE Campus is a large multifunctional hall – Kolossalen – which occupies the core of the two-storey building.

The hall can be divided in two and be used for interactive teaching activities with 360-degree projection or as an auditorium for 400 people.

The hall is made of concrete with visible casting formwork, which makes for a very tactile ‘interior facade’. The other walls are made of perforated steel plate while the floors are made of wood. The materials used are all very much in the vein of ‘what you see is what you get’. This also goes for the ceilings in most rooms, as Troldtekt is made of wood and cement.  In addition to the pleasant acoustics, the black Troldtekt panels help frame the views of the surrounding landscape and the spatiality of Kolossalen in the middle. In the smaller rooms, Troldtekt acoustic panels in natural wood have been installed on the ceilings. The building’s architecture and the choice of honest materials create a fantastic atmosphere, benefitting both the employees of the LIFE Foundation as well as all those visiting LIFE Campus.