20.03.2017 - NEW AARCH. International Open Design Competition for the New Aarhus School of Architecture
Danish Building & Property Agency (Bygningsstyrelsen/BYGST)
Aarhus School of Architecture (Arkitektskolen Aarhus/AAA)
The focus and professional competences of the Aarhus School of Architecture are constantly undergoing change. A couple of years ago this resulted in a restructuring of teaching and research at the school. A new building will help us continue to develop new ways of thinking about and working with architecture. As architects, we believe that architecture is important to human values and behaviour. It is, consequently, only natural that we should want to re-think our own physical framework for learning and cooperating.
WE DO NOT WANT SIMPLY TO BUILD A NEW SCHOOL, BUT TO CREATE A LABORATORY FOR ARCHITECTURE. A RAW STRUCTURE IN WHICH WE CAN DEVELOP, EXPERIMENT, TEST, COOPERATE – AND COME UP WITH NEW INTERESTING PROPOSALS FOR THE FUTURE.
The building should facilitate experimentation and knowledge sharing between teachers, researchers, administrative staff and students. We do not envision the building as ‘an iconic work of art ’ in its own right but as a natural framework responsive to constant change. A few examples of possible solutions might be: a facade that could be transformed by students’ designs and mockups, an exhibition space that could be used as a workshop; a roof surface with experimental gardens, etc. We want a raw building that can be used, is alive and has sufficient space for students to experiment. Part of the schools workshop areas could be unheated space.
In building a new school, we want to establish a framework for future learning – a framework which can strengthen the cohesion of our educational programmes as well as the cohesion between research, teaching and continuing education. At present, the school is fragmented and consists of many small spaces. We want larger interconnected spaces – as well as diversity and the opportunity to make changes. The school’s spaces should reflect its ambition, that students both immerse themselves individually and experiment in a shared learning environment.
VARYING INFLOW OF LIGHT WILL GREATLY INFLUENCE THE QUALITY OF PREMISES AND THE WAY THEY CAN BE USED. THE USE OF DAYLIGHT IN ARCHITECTURE IS OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE IN SCANDINAVIA, WHERE LIGHT IS SCARCE DURING THE WINTER MONTHS. THE AARHUS SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE HAS PLACED SPECIAL FOCUS ON WORKING WITH SPACE, MATERIALITY AND SUSTAINABLE VALUES.
A new school should allow us to open our facilities both to the architectural profession and to the general public - with the aim of continuously sharing and discussing our knowledge and our students’ proposals for the future. The building should be welcoming and inviting. The new school of architecture must relate to sustainability in a resource-conscious way, not only through economically responsible use of materials or energy optimisation. In general, the Aarhus School of Architecture wants a holistic view of sustainability, in which sustainability includes a social, environmental and economic dimension.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THE BUILDING PROJECT SHOULD NOT BE ‘SUSTAINABLY OBSOLETE’ IN THE FUTURE – IT SHOULD REPRESENT A ROBUST AND INCLUSIVE APPROACH TO SUSTAINABILITY.
To provide a basis for the forthcoming open design competition, the Aarhus School of Architecture
commissioned a needs analysis, which resulted in a pre-programming registration focusing on square metre Requirement.
The building project should consist of no more than 13,000 m2 gross and 9,000 m2 net. A gross/ net factor of only 1.4 will require an emphasis on optimising the area and on efficient space utilisation. Should any opportunities for further reducing the necessary area present themselves, we would welcome them. We want a building project that incorporates flexibility, multiple use and an organisation that centres around activity. Furthermore, it should be scalable and allow for the possibility of renting out individual sections for other purposes in the future. Part of the area – e.g. 2,000 m2 for installations, depots, etc. – can be located below ground.
The project is currently budgeted at DKK 250 million, of which approximately DKK 150 million are construction costs. This means funding is very limited with a relatively low price per square metre. Since we want a building project characterised by raw, honest and robust architecture we expect the budget to be realistic. Nevertheless, we will also want to be convinced that the budget can be met and to see an explanation of how life-cycle costs can be optimised to obtain a good balance between construction and operating costs. In addition to the budget, additional funding may be available through fundraising, but this does not at present feature in the budget and should not, therefore, be factored. Nevertheless, we would value suggestions for options based on additional funding, in the form, for instance, of potential add-ons to the project. Please notice that a total area of 17,000 m2 cannot be exceeded.
Please note that the budget is based on Danish building costs and on the construction cost index for residential buildings (byggeomkostningsindekset for boliger). The school’s total area of 13,000 m2 should be seen in relation to the project’s total cost. It may also be useful to take into consideration the current number of users of the school (page 29), as this might give an idea of current space requirements. Naturally, the student population may change over time, which is why we would like a project with a high degree of flexibility that can accommodate both a reduction and an increase in numbers.
WE NEED PROPOSALS FOR A VERY ROBUST DESIGN FOR A NEW SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE. WE ENVISION A BUILDING IN WHICH WE CAN INTEGRATE NEW SPATIAL FEATURES.
To provide some ideas for organising the new school, you will find on page 29 a number of ‘bubbles’ containing descriptions of spaces that illustrate current ideas about features that the new school of architecture might contain. The sketch does not reflect spatial relationships or ratios but is simply an illustration of the diversity of functions a new building project might accommodate. We expect you to reshuffle these elements in order to rethink and re-assemble the school. On page 30 we have added short descriptions of how various functions might be imagined in a new school.
We prioritise investing in art that is integral to the building. The coming architect of the building will, therefore, have to collaborate with a selected artist. Art should preferably be conceived in the early design. We also prioritise being role models as regards accessibility and handicap-friendly solutions.
22. Februar bis 09. März 2016
20. März 2017
Vargo Nielsen Palle
Rolvung og Brøndsted Arkitekter
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