Tjørring School

The star-shaped school which radiates harmony, integration and tranquillity.

Troldtekt, Tjørring School
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect

This building literally grows out of the flat landscape at Tjørring in Herning, Denmark. Its essential shape is simple but characteristic, like a child's drawing, while its white facades and green roofs attract attention from some distance away. From the air it looks like a grass-covered mound in the terrain and its star shape is most clearly visible.

The simple footprint consists of five rectangular wings, radiating from an inner central hub. The building's great strength lies in its ability to embrace such a wide range of functions and rooms within such a simple structure. The star shape also supports the idea of differentiating outdoor spaces and creating areas with sunshine and wind shelter. The surrounding terrain with its stylised landscape contributes to the whole complex and has been beautifully finished.

School 'square' and five wings
Visitors arriving at Stjernen from the north-west are greeted by a green entrance building. They then step directly into the school 'square', which is an active hub throughout the day. This is where the five wings meet and it is large enough for all the students to assemble together for special events. The balconies afford a perfect view of this dramatic part of the building, which has surprisingly pleasant acoustics – largely thanks to its light Troldtekt ceilings. These are made from cement-bonded wood wool which plays a very active role in providing a good sound environment at the school.

From the square, each of the separate wings can be accessed. These have a more basic layout which allows for future changes in teaching practices and types of tuition. Even though the 14 classrooms have a traditional shape, they are not monotonous or formal. There are also major variations in the natural lighting and recreational areas throughout.

Thomas Brøndum Ushus, Architect at Friis & Moltke says, "Cement-bonded wood wool was chosen for the large common rooms with their high ceilings because it provides a uniform surface and a rugged look. It also results in a good reverberation time for this large space, so people can hear what is being said even though there is a lot of activity in the rooms."