Danish design has always caught our eye, the latest being Ørestad College in Copenhagen designed by architectural firm 3XN. This peculiar space which essentially has no traditional ‘classrooms’ was recently nominated for the honourable Mies van der Rohe Award in 2009 which is an award given away every two years recognizing and paying tribute to European architecture of high quality.
The exterior is cheerfully designed with rows of colourful transparent glass panels and long vertical windows to let the sunlight come through at the student’s wishes. The panels also add a touch of colour when the sun shines through from the outside into the study space. There is also a roof top terrace and body of water next to the school. The interior is brightly lit with skylights spanning across the majority of ceilings and polka dot lighting fixtures for the days the sun decides to tuck away behind the clouds. The spiral long stairwells makes me think it would take a while to get to ‘class’ don’t you think?
In total, there are four levels making up the college with four boomerang shaped floor plans opening up the middle of the building to connect vertically through the centrally located atrium.
Study pods (that look super comfortable may I add) are located on every floor for student group or independent study. The pods even rotate!
Communication, interaction and synergy have been the basis for the design of this college space with a vision of creating openness and flexibility for student learning and professor teaching. A more dynamic and life-like studying environment with the introduction of IT as a main tool have also been considered. Whether or not the students’ grades have improved drastically due to this newly designed college is uncertain, but I believe success starts with a well and aesthetically pleasing learning environment wouldn’t you say?
Photos via e-architect