Contrasting architecture

The adult education centre Vestegnen HF & VUC in Rødovre, Copenhagen, is now housed in an architecturally striking building that is both an independent and modern structure, yet which also contributes significantly to the densification of Rødovre’s town centre.

Troldtekt Vestegnens HF VUC
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The cuboid building is a strong shape, but in this case the bold look is balanced by flickering-like façades consisting of vertical aluminium slats. The grey and golden hues combined with the coloured panels behind them create a sense of lightness, while adding depth to the building exterior. The variability of the façade defines the outward identity of the building, nicely counterbalanced by the indoor contrasts. Inside the centre, the architects have used the materials to optimum effect, considering their precise influence on the spatial experiences. The flooring is the same throughout, and serves as a consistent backdrop for the distinctive changes between the various materials used for all the other surfaces.

Simple plan
The floors are organised so that the atrium acts as a coherent spatial body, which is emphasised by the decorative use of wooden strips on ceilings and walls. The classrooms are located in the corners of the cube, with glass sections in the façades and overlooking the atrium. Between the classrooms, the interior has been designed to accommodate more flexible teaching methods such as group work or individual work. The classrooms and the stairways are very simple with clean, raw materials such as grey Troldtekt acoustic panels and concrete walls.

“The two connecting stairways towards the north and south as well as all the classrooms are designed with straightforward, raw materials that contrast well with the atrium’s soft, warm and inviting surfaces,” says Marianne Dampe Raun from H+Arkitekter A/S.

The consistent contrasting of the ‘cool’ classrooms and stairways with the warm surfaces in the atrium adds a quality of independence to the rooms. The acoustics and the lighting have also played an important role in the interior design, and beautifully support the overarching architectural intentions.