Instigating progressive learning

Monday 07 Mar 2011

Henning Larsen's school in Stavanger uses architecture as a learning tool

As one of Norway's leading modern educational institutions, Jåttå Vocational School marks the entrance to Stavanger's new urban quarter by the Vågen Fjord. The 16,000-sq-m school is paired with a 3,500-sq-m athletic centre, also designed by Henning Larsen Architects. With a minimalist aesthetic, the design of Jåttå Vocational School promotes and enhances interaction between the institution's 1,600 students and the local community.

The new institution features a vibrant double-height central street flanked by individual urban quarters, each with distinct teaching environments and lecture facilities. The heart of the school - the central street comprising main hall, café, and resource centre - forms an active gathering point with views of all green terraces and roof landscapes. Double-height glazing allows generous daylight into the building, minimising energy expenses and providing passive solar heating and cooling.

The vision for Jåttå Vocational School utilises architecture as a direct instigator of a long-term progressive learning environment. The design constitutes a thriving, growing community space with emphasis on immersion and maximised social interaction between academic and local realms.

The school was designed in close and intensive collaboration with the client, Rogaland Municipality. The educational director, students, faculty, engineers and local architects also provided crucial input. Throughout the entire planning process, the cross-disciplinary team maintained an ambitious pedagogical ambition expressed in the building's architecture - from spatial organisation to tactile physical appearance.

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