This unique project combines learning with landscape to turn a forest into a school
Designed by AART Architects, JAJA Architects and Søren Jensen Consulting Engineers, Vrå Public School in Denmark provides new perspectives on how to stimulate children's ability and desire to learn. This is done by combining learning and landscape so that children can play and learn in a complete ecosystem that changes over time – during the day and year and over time.
Vrå Public School is a unique project that focuses on children’s play, learning and development and brings together a wide range of offers for all city citizens. Besides class levels and vocational areas, the school thus also includes a youth centre, library, sports hall and an outdoor activity landscape – and all facilities have been designed in close interaction with the scenic surroundings.
What is unique about the project is that it combines learning and landscape. It is based on a sustainable ambition to create a complete ecosystem for play and learning. This ambition has been translated into a playful and instructive landscape where the forest becomes the school and vice versa. Outwardly and inwardly, the school will be experienced as a ‘Learning Forest’, where culture and nature, education and sustainability, merges into a new kind of learning environment.
Structurally, the school is built up of clusters around an inner school square. As a unifying space, the square unites the surroundings, the main entrance and the clusters including the sports hall, the library, the youth centre, etc., in an open and atmospheric architectural grip. In addition, two courtyards give the square a light, bright and vibrant feeling while organizing it into clearly defined zones for learning and recreation.
“The winning proposal is based on a groundbreaking concept where the forest becomes the school. It is sustainable in every aspect and implements sustainability completely into the pedagogical use of the school” / Excerpt from the jury report