Thor Heyerdahl School | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

• September 26, 2009

Thor Heyerdahl School Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects plusMOOD 02 595x387 Thor Heyerdahl School | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Thor Heyerdahl School, image courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Thor Heyerdahl School Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects plusMOOD 0 South facade1 595x396 Thor Heyerdahl School | Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Thor Heyerdahl School, image courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Danish architects Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects‘s largest school project – The Thor Heyerdahl School of Advanced and Further Education recently has been completed in Larvik, Norway.

We have chosen to rethink and challenge the traditional boundaries surrounding school buildings. We wanted to create an architectonic base for a well functioning student environment and increased cross disciplinary activity.

Kristian Ahlmark, associate partner & design architect on the school project

+ Project description courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

schmidt hammer lassen architects’ largest school project to date has been completed in Norway. The project is one of Norway’s Schools for the Future, enhancing cross disciplinary learning. Schmidt hammer lassen are also the architects behind City of Westminster College Paddington Green Campus under construction in London.

“School for the future” in Norway inaugurated

The Thor Heyerdahl School of Advanced and Further Education in Larvik, Norway was inaugurated in September 2009. The 33,400 m2 new school, designed by the Danish architects schmidt hammer lassen, is the largest new school in Norway. Schmidt hammer lassen won the international competition for the school including a 4000 spectator sports arena in 2005. One year later, the company won the competition for a 25,000 m2 school building of City of Westminster College.

The new school is pointing to the future as a social and educational experiment. The students of the technical educations are deliberately mixed with college students aspiring for later university degrees. Thus, schmidt hammer lassen have made Norwegian thoughts on educational reform concrete.

Schoolchildren are normally divided after secondary school, but in Larvik they will be kept together and blended socially and across educations in an open learning environment. The blend of social classes and the mutual inspiration the students of various trades give each other has the purpose of enhancing equality in society.

We have chosen to rethink and challenge the traditional boundaries surrounding school buildings. We wanted to create an architectonic base for a well functioning student environment and increased cross disciplinary activity.

said associate partner Kristian Ahlmark, design architect on the school project.

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Thor Heyerdahl School, image courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

The building is laid out to place the buzzling social activity in the axis of the house with informal meeting spaces. As you move further away from the axis, the spaces turn into half-open niches and the furthest areas of the wings are calm and secluded to allow concentrated studying.

The teaching takes place in the terraced wings. Parts of the classrooms have glass walls to maintain openness and contact to the common areas. The workshops for the technical educations are also in open contact with the rest of the school.

The architecture is a compact vertically oriented structure with a characteristic and dynamic form of four axes. The central structure consists of an open quadratic deck. This deck has deep incisions that give the building a dynamic form and enable daylight to seep into the furthest corners of the building. The deck above is identical but twisted 180 degrees around the central axis of the building. Hence, at series of single and double height areas are created providing visual contact from one floor to the next. The shifting decks create external terraces in a direct flow from the classrooms.

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Thor Heyerdahl School, image courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

The sports arena has room for 4000 spectators. It will be used by the school for cultural and sports lessons during the day and serve as the home arena for the local handball club as well as venue for many other sports and cultural events during the evenings.

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Thor Heyerdahl School - Site plan courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thor Heyerdahl School - Ground floor plan courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thor Heyerdahl School - First floor plan courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thor Heyerdahl School - 2nd floor plan courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thor Heyerdahl School - 3rd floor plan courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thor Heyerdahl School - 4th floor plan courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thor Heyerdahl School - East elevation courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Thor Heyerdahl School - Section courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

+ Project credits / data

Project: Thor Heyerdahl School
Location: Hoffs gate, Larvik Norway
Area: 33.400 m2, the sports arena occupies 7000 m2
Construction sum: € 73 million excl. VAT
Construction year: 2009
Award: 1. prize
Competition year: 2005
Competition type: Restricted international

Client: Vestfold Municipality
Architect: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects (Lead Consultant)
Project Partner: John Lassen
Landscape architect: SLA A/S
Engineer: Multiconsult

+ All images and drawings courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

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Category: Architecture, Education

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