To understand how Vrå Børne- og Kulturhus ended up with its design and look, you need to lift your eyes and look at the area within which the building is situated.
“The outdoor areas have really played a major role in our thoughts about the school and the design concept. We were allocated a large plot where we were inspired by the landscape, which encompasses several woods in geometric shapes. The client also emphasised that the building had to support lots of outdoor education. This gave us the idea that we should not only make a new school – but also a new forest, and put the school inside that forest,” explains Kathrine Hegner Stærmose.
At the time of writing, the new forest is no more than bare trunks, but the idea is that the trees will play a major role in the long term, not only for the outdoor education, but also for the indoor climate in the buildings.
“We reached the conclusion that we wanted to use the forest to provide both good indoor and outdoor climate. Trees are so amazing on hot summer days, because there is a big temperature difference between sun and shade,” says Hanne Tine Ring Hansen.
The challenge for the consultant team has been that it is difficult to calculate, simulate and document the effect of trees on the indoor climate. A project with funding from Realdania will therefore investigate how planted trees affect the light in the building – whether you can use trees for sun shading without negatively affecting natural lighting.