A new artists' quarter for Umeå

Wednesday 12 Sep 2012

Henning Larsen creates dynamic urban campus on former industrial site

Umeå Arts Campus is the name of a new dynamic centre of excellence currently rising on a previous industrial plot by the north beach of Umeå River in Northern Sweden. The project is a fine example of a modern regeneration of the urban harbour area.

The first stage of the Arts Campus adds three new buildings to the existing industrial setting: the School of Architecture, the Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Museum. The three buildings each contribute with a distinctive identity to the area and refer to the other buildings of the city in scale and expression.

The interaction between independence and synergy is the fundamental idea for the structures. It is created by physically linking the buildings in a big base close to the riverside that holds all common facilities. The unique locality at the water with the riverside promenade and the proximity to the centre of Umeå are the ideal surroundings for a university campus with public recreational areas.

The architectural vision of the campus site is to create a dynamic, lively environment along the river bank. The area will rise as a manifold, composite structure, combining old and new in an almost anarchistic composition. The idea is that the Arts Campus will act as an arena for education, research and professional activities in architecture, design, art and digital cultures - a creative environment that is somewhat unique for Sweden, Europe and perhaps the entire world.

Henning Larsen Architects attaches great importance to designing environmentally friendly and integrated, energy-efficient solutions. Thus, the Art Museum and the School of Architecture, which are both now finished, have been developed on the basis of the latest sustainability research considering aesthetics, location, function, space, comfort and materials as a whole.

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