Stimulating the senses

Friday 07 Dec 2012

Reworked paint factory becomes creative learning space in Kolding, Denmark

Danish architects schmidt hammer lassen have completed their sensitive refurbishment project at the former GORI factory, transforming it into the IBC Innovation Factory. An entirely new institution, the IBC Innovation Factory is a 12,800 sq m education facility with a creative learning environment, the design of which has been inspired by the six natural elements of fire, water, greenery, light, sound and air.

John Foldbjerg Lassen, Founding Partner at schmidt hammer lassen, explains: “With the acquisition of the GORI factory in the summer of 2010, the IBC gained access to a unique physical environment characterised by an impressive pioneering spirit and vision. It was the first factory plant in Denmark to unite production and management in one large room, allowing visual connection between the two.

“The large paint tanks [of the GORI factory] were decorated by the French artist Jean Dewasne in the conviction that art in the workplace would inspire employees and provide a better working environment. The same idea inspired the incorporation of badminton courts and Ping-Pong tables on the production floor for employees.”

Inaugurated on 6 December 2012, the IBC Innovation Centre has been designed to focus on interaction between building and user through the stimulation of the latter’s senses through trickling water, birds in aviaries and plantlife. Indoor ‘landscape furniture’ has been inserted throughout with a variety of teaching and study spaces available for dynamic learning practices. A Douglas pine wood volume in the centre of the building houses an auditorium, open study spaces, an amphitheatre and closed podiums for reflective downtime.

Foldbjerg Lassen continues: “Students, teachers and the business world can meet and learn from each other in this unique setting. The building should support and inspire this encounter. The main architectural concept behind the ‘landscape furniture’ is created in that spirit. We are convinced that the experience of quality and well-being is highly conducive to creativity.

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