College Mixer - Design Bureau

College Mixer

Friday, August 31st, 2012

By Justin Ray

Photos: 3XN / Adam Moerk

Being a teenager or a college freshman and being told every little you can and can't do and where you can do it is a real drag. Danish architects at 3XN must have known this when they went to the drawing board for Ørestad College, a "gymnasium" school for 16–19 year olds, just south of Copenhagen, Denmark. The school's ambiguous interior is meant for students to play an active role in constructing an environment conducive to their learning. In fact, the new school's ambitious design was part of reforms in Denmark meant to encourage students to take responsibility for their learning, both as individuals and as groups.

3XN wanted the structure to give students freedom to define the space for themselves. Boomerang-shaped floor plans rotate over four floors which are each seamlessly connected to each other by a spiral staircase. The main atrium, known as the X-zone, is meant as a space for collaboration and even more instructional possibilities. Teaching and learning spaces overlap with few defined borders. Outside the building transparent glass louvres rotate, providing the structure with both light and multicolor rays. Playing with the sunlight, the building incorporates the outside environment and informs students of the passing of time.

3XN's amorphic design mirrored a vision for a changing educational environment so well it won the Scandinavian award for best building in 2007.

Video: 24 hours at Ørestad College

Tagged with: