Modern study environments require good acoustics

University College of Northern Denmark (UCN) in Aalborg recently acquired a large extension that offers good conditions for the students, both for classroom and more informal study activities. For the architects who designed the extension, sustainability and a good indoor climate were both key priorities.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The reason for the 3,200-square-metre extension was to form an academic community for all the technological study programmes in the same building, ensuring natural synergies between all the year groups and study programmes. In particular, the new social study and development environment was a key focus area in the architectural competition, which was won by Kærsgaard & Andersen A/S in Aalborg. In creating the new facility, the existing buildings have been carefully respected, while the sloping plot has been exploited to create an exciting sense of space in the open working environment (called plug and study).

UCN wanted functional and flexible buildings, which places considerable demands on materials and the indoor climate. In addition, the architects have worked a lot with sound, light, transparency and visual contact. The spatiality varies throughout the building, with both long uninterrupted views and more intimate spaces. Troldtekt acoustic panels have been used throughout on the ceilings, which ensures good acoustics while enhancing the fine architectural coherence. The surface is calm, and lends a sense of texturality to the rooms together with the wood and concrete. UCN’s new building in Aalborg is a modern and future-oriented environment that invites study and social interaction, both indoors and out.