- LOCATION: KOLDING, DK
- CLIENT: IBA ERHVERVSAKADEMI KOLDING
- SIZE: 10.700 m² NEW BUILDING
- YEAR: 2016
- STATUS: COMPETITION PROPOSAL – CLOSED
- ARCHITECT: CEBRA
- CONTRACTOR: NCC
- ENGINEER: SØREN JENSEN
The aim of our proposal for the business academy IBA’s new campus is to create a building that reflects a curiosity in exploring the world and radiates energy and engagement. We wish for a school that supports the exchange across study programs and the dialogue between its users. A school that by means of its physical setting provides a fertile soil, from which knowledge sprouts. That is why we worked with an architectural interpretation of a forest – a living architecture that creates a both changeable and wonderful learning environment with a high degree of spatial variation.
A diverse learning environment penetrates the regular building volume’s structural and functional logic in the form of a series of organically twisting and sculptural “trees”. The trees grow, so to speak, from the central atrium space’s manifold underwood of activities and span the school functions around the clearing in the centre of the building. The trunks of the trees supplement the class rooms on each floor with flexible study zones, group and common rooms that hold different qualities and are oriented towards the central space so that school life becomes visible across the floors. In addition, the trees’ layout and varying volumes divide the central space into smaller units with different spatial qualities and experiences. The duality between organic tress and the rational building volume creates diversity, versatility and a learning environment that supports the human scale, social interactions and individual needs in a collective building.
The site’s most attractive qualities consist in the direct contact with the stream to the south and the interaction with the educational environments of the university across the stream and a future institution to the west. In order to take advantage of these qualities and integrate the possibility for outdoor teaching the building’s central space “slopes” southwards and is oriented towards the arrival and the big amphi staircase by the entrance. By lifting the building to the north to make room for the parking lot beneath it and letting the height of the trees decline towards the entrance a diagonal visual connection is created towards the outdoor areas across the interior of the campus. The slope forms a natural transition between common functions of the atrium, down the roofed outdoor space by the amphi stairs and out onto the terrace, the grass area and the wooden bridge by the water so that the interaction between indoor and outdoor spaces becomes a natural part of the school’s teaching and social activities.