In his opening speech at University College AAbenraa in Denmark, Danish Minister of Education and Research, Søren Pind emphasized that the future is interdisciplinary and that innovative ideas arise in the cross field between branches of knowledge.
At Henning Larsen we are thrilled that UC Syd University College AAbenraa is now open. UC Syd brings together the educational programs for social workers, nurses and social educators under one roof. The building is designed to facilitate knowledge sharing across educational disciplines. Students can meet and be challenged while finding the focus required to become the best within their respective fields.
The new educational building is designed to respect the scale of the prominent old market town of AAbenraa. UC Syd is laid out as a small town within the larger city with communal spaces, specialized classrooms and corridors that support a broad spectrum of learning situations and social activities. The large scale ‘study staircase’ and the multipurpose hall create a framework for communities and exchange of knowledge. These are complemented by individual classrooms that allow for formal education.
Daylight, acoustics and indoor climate have been at the core of our design strategy, the result is an acoustically and climatically comfortable environment for students and teaching staff alike. Research has shown that the exposure to daylight advances learning, therefore all classrooms are illuminated by a minimum of three skylights in addition to the windows.
In working with the shaping of acoustics we engaged in a fruitful collaboration with artist Tommy Støckel. A series of embellished wall panels help modulate the sound in the building while giving rise to surprises and visual stimulation. Kasper Dige Larsen, lead designer and project manager for UC Syd emphasized in his opening speech: “The ability to wonder and to pose questions are essential qualities in a learning process. Tommy Støckels extensive art work generates questions such as; what, how, why, but does not provide answers. In this way the art work is perfectly suited to an educational institution.”
The educational programs that are accommodated in the building are also characterized by a hands on approach to reality. Inspired by this fact we were intent on incorporating artwork in the building that had a practical function in relation to acoustics.
“The future demands openness, openness towards different areas of expertise, openness when it comes to learning from each other (…) With this new campus the frame is set for a future that embraces opportunities,” the Danish Minister of Education and Research underscored at the opening ceremony.