The new Umeå University arts campus in Sweden comprises the Umeå Architecture School, Institute of Design, Academy of Fine Arts, and public Art Museum. The academy is developed at the Umeå riverside promenade on a previous industrial plot, in close proximity to Österfjärden and the Umeå city centre.
The Umeå Architecture Academy simultaneously enables independence and synergy. Integrated within the local context, each independent faculty shares common resources with the university community while simultaneously existing as independent entities. These entities possess distinct academic philosophies, teaching facilities and intellectual aims. This coexistence of independence and synergy is the fundamental concept for the Umeå University arts campus.
Local sustainable materials were utilised in the construction of the Architecture Academy. Energy calculations and daylight simulations inspired a wood façade with glass apertures, as opposed to a purely glazed façade. This decision is a key parameter in the institution's achievement of a 50% energy reduction.
The exterior lamella façade is built of larch wood while the interior contains local birch with excellent acoustic qualities. Ventilation, lighting and heating functions are wholly integrated into the building's load-bearing structure. Through this system, air enters beneath the floor plane and rises to the roof plane via columns and beams. Here, air is circulated throughout the building inside perforated pipes.
The Architecture Academy was completed in 2010; the Academy of Fine Arts and public Art Museum are expected for inauguration in 2014. The second stage of the campus will also comprise an extension into the Umeå city centre - solidification of the growing connection between campus and urban environment.
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