Gjerdrum's first days

Tuesday 13 Oct 2009

170million NOK school opens in the Norwegian town

320 students started their school year in August at one of Norway's newest purpose-built schools. After winning an invited competition in 2007 Kristin Jarmund Arkitekter's design for Gjerdrum Secondary School in Norway remained almost entirely in tact through to its completion in time for the new term in August.

Servicing three year groups the school is divided to cater for each year separately whilst merging at specific points to allow social interaction.

The school's roof is shaped by the topography, folded up from the ground. A tilted wall towards the south become the stand for the sports fields and can also be used for teaching purposes for smaller groups. Inside an open landscape with smaller volumes, as houses within the house, is created. There are almost no corridors due to the building's compact volume inviting openness and community encouraging participation in all activities.

The building is a flexible vessel for education which allows different areas to be sectioned for multi-use and shared functions and for areas to be enclosed for use at night time. The outdoor and indoor areas are therefore transient and not exclusive of one another. Some of the rooms are 'inverse' – outdoor atriums cut out of the building mass to allow daylight to penetrate the building. The main entrance to the east leads into a circular open schoolyard atrium which is placed in the centre of the building volume.

Further sporting facilities are set to be added which will fully integrate the building with its green surroundings.

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