Carpentry school with X-factor

Tradium Randers is situated in an industrial district to the north-west of the city. Surrounded by slightly anonymous industrial units, a workshop building has been constructed which, in all its simplicity, is something of a masterpiece. Erik Arkitekter has designed the new carpentry school and coordinated the renovation of the adjoining buildings.

Troldtekt Tradium Randers
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect

Tradium is the name of a large development-oriented vocational college with more than 3,000 students and 500 employees. Its facilities are located at seven different locations, including Hobro, Kolind and Randers in Jutland. Tradium Randers is something of an educational powerhouse, the result of a merger in 2010 between Minerva Business College and Randers Technical College.

Tectonics and transparency
The floor plan of the new, detached building is extremely simple: A square with a circle in the middle and a transverse axis with the main entrance facing east. As simple and symmetrical as an ancient symbol. Nevertheless, both the exterior and interior architecture of the building is quite exciting. The constructions are exposed, the materials are familiar, and form and content have been carefully matched.

The new building comprises two large and flexible carpentry workshops with five-metre-wide doors to the outside, a machine shop, offices and a communal area.
 The building is characterised by simplicity, openness, ample daylight and large ‘squares’ and pedestrian ‘thoroughfares’, while carefully integrating transparency, efficient workflows and wayfinding. The acoustics are, of course, an important parameter in the workshops, and through the installation of lots of light Troldtekt acoustic panels on both walls and ceilings, superior acoustics have been achieved most beautifully.

Large glulam structures help to create an inspiring workshop environment. Outside they can be seen as supporting pillars, and inside as exposed beams. The interior of the building is characterised by large open spaces with high ceilings, and provides generous space for tomorrow’s carpenters to hammer away and work on their projects as full-scale 1:1 constructions.