Industrial-look school of architecture

Aarhus School of Architecture now has its own building, with all functions under one roof. The result is stronger synergies than when the school was scattered around a number of sites.

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

The new school of architecture is situated in the new urban district surrounding Godsbanen in Aarhus, and despite its compact size, it does not dominate the site. The building cascades down from the street to the open space around Institut for (X).

The entire ground floor is dedicated to activities with public access, such as the library, auditorium and canteen. The workshops are also located here, where students can experiment with forms and materials.

The entire school of architecture is designed like a workshop – a place for exploration and knowledge sharing. The top floors are dominated by large drawing studios with access to roof terraces, which accentuate the building’s descent towards ground level.

Simple and rugged materials

The industrial stringency of the building design is complemented by a dynamic spatiality. This means that you can see across to other rooms, and the natural light extends far into the building, from the windows and via skylights. A very changeable architecture built using a limited range of materials.

Concrete, glass, wood and steel are the materials used throughout and were chosen because of their ruggedness, and the desire to create a simple building.

The large open spaces and drawing studios have ‘concrete-grey’ Troldtekt acoustic ceilings made up of square panels. The same homogeneity is evident in the more enclosed spaces in the concrete cores, where black Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed.

Troldtekt ceilings create visual coherence between the rooms, but separate the sound, so that the acoustics work. The materials inside are carefully balanced between the raw steel and concrete surfaces and the warmer and softer wood materials, such as Troldtekt panels, window sills, cross-cut timber floors and the beautiful mezzanine library 16 metres up.