ÅRHUS AND THE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
The Godsbanen area is a no-man’s-land incision between the worlds of Århus; the representative and monumental (Radhuset, Musikhuset, Aros and Kampmann), and the housing districts and the industrial production facilities. The site offers a new urban condition in Århus.
The existing school in Århus is uniquely integrated in the urban fabric of the city, however, the city is not integrated in the school, hidden behind closed facades and backyards. The atomized structure has lent itself well to development of distinct cultures within the school, yet it has limited internal debates and exchange between differing (architectural) ideologies.
Our proposal for the school is an answer to these readings.
— The school as an integrated urban structure
— Defined worlds, integrated in a mixing chamber for the exchange of ideas
—A school open to the city. The school as a showcase for architecture not only for itself but for the city of Århus.
—Architecture with the qualities to create an urban rupture, yet without the monumental failures that formed the likes of the Convention center or the Aros museum. A large structure, seamlessly integrated in the urban fabric.
—Architecture as landscape rather than as monument.
We suggest positioning the school at the center of the New Århus K, spanning the area from east to west, integrating the structure flows and spaces of the Godsbanen area.
The position of the school arranges the remaining Godsbanen area in an urban fabric and creates and defines all urban spaces in the area. The existing structures are kept to preserve the history and eclectic quality of the area and programmed to contain production and public spaces. With the protection of the existing structures, the new Århus K will never seem complete, having defined public spaces with secured scales and qualities regardless of future architecture.
The park bifurcates the school creating pearls on a string of cultural production facilities along the park. The park is defined as an urban park in progress from rural to urban.
The Lundbyesgade axis intersects the school and creates the main point of entry and access. The landscape is pinched and lifted up to allow for the passing of the Lundbyesgade axis. Entry, bike parking and visitor facilities are placed here. On the eastern side of the school, shops, The Architecture Project and administrative offices connect the school to the center of Århus.
The school is split between an open “public” ground floor as an extension of the urban space and the enclosed hovering box. A Nolli map of the plan shows a continuous public ground floor throughout the Godsbanen area.
The school is a superimposition of three distinct architectures. It is organized as an extension of the urban space of the city; as a covered plaza in the city. A landscape that accommodates all the shared facilities of the school, library, canteen, exhibition, auditoriums, rooms for exchange and workshops, above hovers the “Tegnesals” box.
The ground plane is the continuous undulating landscape of the city extending the public space into the school. The school becomes a covered plaza that extends the city into the school and the school out to the city. It becomes a showcase for the production of architecture. A field for exchange, that contains all the shared and public facilities of the school, for large mock ups, reading spaces, library and canteen along the park, teaching and presenting architecture along the street, exhibition space as in integrated part of the school and the city. A mixing chamber for the school, the city and architecture.
The ground-floor of the school becomes a large public plaza in the center of the new Århus K.
THE FLOATING BOX
Above, the studio-spaces are hovering in a floating box, which at once protects, defines and liberates the landscape below. The box contains the studio-spaces and academic research studios. It is a continuous field for the production of architecture. Exchange between departments, expertise and ideologies is encouraged. On the perimeter there are open spaces for studies, and in the center an area for exchange of ideas.
The ‘Tegnesals’ box is a flexible, defined architectural element. Described by the Vierendeel trusses, with the studio spaces on the facade and a large light-filled central space for small presentations, exchange, reading, offices and testing. It is hovering on four cores, allowing the plane below to be free of structural obligations. The floating box defines and protects the plaza below.
Skylights and studio spaces keep the space flexible for current and future adaptations.
A roof terrace extends the studio spaces to a contemplation terrace. The school is spanning the historic building, which is turned into an experimental project space.
The flying carpet is formed over the function spaces of the school. It covers auditoriums, parking, technical facilities, kitchen, bike parking, storage and the wood workshop; an underworld carved in the ground.
Generosity and complexity of the structural concept shall inspire students to think creatively and gain first-hand experience with unique structure systems.
The truss system to support both upper floors and the roof is suggested to be a Vierendeel truss system to emphasize the architectural content of the project. These systems usually increase the necessary amount of material and achieve only reduced stiffness compared to more efficient systems with diagonals. These effects can be reduced by structural optimization, careful integration of diagonals and a mounting procedure taking into account super elevation and pretension.
The truss system rests on four structural cores of concrete which lead forces down to the foundations. Tensile forces form the roof structure can be anchored to the weight of the basement. Exceeding forces would be taken by earth anchors.
We have imagined a programme for the school, however, we have created a strategy that is fully adaptable to future developments. It is a strategy for organization rather than a final design
The urban plan is solved within the required square meter demands for the area. We recommend only building parking facilities below ground, not as a parking structure in any new urban plan in the center of a city.
Aarhus School of Architecture
New school of architecture
Open competition entry, Honorable mention
Adam Kurdahl, Allan Martino, Kristin Schaefer, Natallia Shiroma