Vrå School

The Vrå School goes beyond a conventional school building. It is a place that challenges the boundaries between classroom academics, extracurricular activities, and community life. Evolving the isolated nature of many traditional schools, Vrå is just as much a community space for the entire town, as it is for the students.

Architecturally, by blending the built environment with the surrounding landscape, the Vrå School challenges the relationship between constructed and natural. The spaces within the school are shaped by both conventional building materials, and parts of the natural surroundings, creating a cohesive relationship between the building and site. Trunks of the surrounding trees become slender columns inside the lobby, the forest floor becomes interior courtyards, and the canopy becomes the wooden roof structure that encloses the central gathering space.

The trees outside that envelop the school also become the shading system. Carefully chosen deciduous trees create shade in the summer while letting light during the winter. Nature and program, building and forest, architecture and landscape all interact in the Vrå School to become one cohesive entity.

Program: School, kindergarten, library, culture house, sports, landscape
Størrelse: +9600 m2
Beliggenhed: Vrå, Denmark
Bygherre: Vrå Kommune
År: 2016 -
Type: Invited competition, 1. place
Samarbejde: Aart, Søren Jensen Rådgivende Ingeniører
Status: Ongoing
Team JAJA: Kathrin Gimmel, Jakob Christensen, Jan Tanaka, Rie Celine Nielsen, Pola Rebecca Koch, Bruno Malusa, Mette Greve, Ervin Trombitas, Stephen Dietz-Hodgson, Sam De Boever, Natalia Gruszczynska, Caroline Lowen

THE CULTIVATED LANDSCAPE

The landscape is characterized by open grass plains and geometrically planned forest elements. Together, they create a distinct spatial differentiation between the cluster of trees and open spaces in between.

THE CULTIVATED LANDSCAPE

The landscape is characterized by open grass plains and geometrically planned forest elements. Together, they create a distinct spatial differentiation between the cluster of trees and open spaces in between.

THE LEARNING FOREST

Inspired by both C.TH Sørensen’s geometric gardens in Herning and the existing landscape, we designed the Learning Forest, the Vrå School, and additional geometric landscape elements used for recreational learning.

THE LEARNING FOREST

Inspired by both C.TH Sørensen’s geometric gardens in Herning and the existing landscape, we designed the Learning Forest, the Vrå School, and additional geometric landscape elements used for recreational learning.

Organic façade

The forest becomes the second façade of the building.
Programmed with many different activities in all the layers of the forest, it creates a living frame for the building, changing with the seasons and throughout the day.

Organic façade

The forest becomes the second façade of the building.
Programmed with many different activities in all the layers of the forest, it creates a living frame for the building, changing with the seasons and throughout the day.

Inside the forest

The ‘heart space’ is the hub of Vrå Learning Forest. The central amphi-staircase accesses the first floor while also offering a great place to hang out, give lectures, or play.
Two large courtyards invite sun, daylight, and plants into the very heart of the building, letting nature remain the central element in the spatial experience.

Inside the forest

The ‘heart space’ is the hub of Vrå Learning Forest. The central amphi-staircase accesses the first floor while also offering a great place to hang out, give lectures, or play.
Two large courtyards invite sun, daylight, and plants into the very heart of the building, letting nature remain the central element in the spatial experience.