New Aarch

With ADEPT as lead designer, inspired by 21st century learning principles, the new Aarhus School of Architecture was designed as an incubator for architectural experiments, workshop-based learning and unplanned synergies between students.

Designed through co-creation in an innovative partnering model, the building shows an alternative direction for cross-disciplinary collaboration in. The design is based on extensive user and neighbourhood involvement, eliminating internal hierarchies to promote a transparent development process and strong ownership.

The architecture is raw, almost resembling an industrial building. The refined detailing and strong spatial organisation deliberately communicates how a building is constructed; how to refine a design through a few carefully selected materials.

The building is located at a former railyard with traces of industrial history forming a raw authentic identity. Characterised by its exposed materials and MEPs, as well as its industrial details, the building design adapts to this unkempt environment, its closest neighbor an alternative self-build community of startups and culture.

It was designed as a laboratory for learning and exploring architecture, both inside and out. The intentional simplicity of the design is a detailed response to the school’s need for functional and robust spaces.

The completed building allows the tutors to experiment with new and contemporary ways of architecture education, while at the same time providing a stronger spatial identity that matches the ambition of being one of the best architecture schools in Europe.

The new building is the school’s best showcase allowing activities to become visible to the public, just as the interior transparency makes studio activities visible and present to all the students.

The building was completed with design-integrated solutions and the intention of maximising spatial flexibility. A narrow material palette reduces the building’s construction resources, including local production and transportation chains where possible.

The team behind the project worked closely with the manufacturer to lessen use of material in the construction as well as to maximise use of recycled material. Furthermore, the manufacturer was obliged to work with sustainable production encouraging zero-waste production.

Other sustainable initiatives are the upcycled wood floors made from leftovers from industrial window production and the large library structure spanning several floors. The library is partly made from an upcycled shelf system from a near-by historic building.

The urban landscape surrounding the building is part of a research project aiming to upcycle leftover construction materials from building to landscape, testing climate adaptation solutions and moving biotopes from one location to another.

The school will reduce their energy consumption by up to 50% compared to the sum of their former locations.

‘(The building) presents itself like an anti-icon – an empty canvas made for ideas, creativity and learning’, explains Martin Krogh, partner at ADEPT. ‘[...] It is a building that was designed to never be enough in itself – only through its occupants is it complete’

Lead consultant ADEPT
Collaboration competition + concept proposal ADEPT, Vargo Nielsen Palle, Rolvung & Brøndsted Arkitekter
Client Danish Building and Property Agency / Aarhus School of Architecture
Consultants Tri-Consult (Engineer), A. Enggaard A/S (Contractor), Steensen Varming, Lendager Arktekter, Etos Ingeniører, A2, Nord (Additional consultants), ADEPT (Landscape), Lea Porsager (Art), Praksis Arkitekter (Library)
Surface 12.500 sqm
Year 2021
Photography Rasmus Hjortshøj

The Braunstein Taphouse

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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