For over 50 years, the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark has been housed in a not-so-temporary location. But now the experimental school is about to get a major upgrade in a beautiful, sustainable new facility designed by Vargo Nielsen Palle, ADEPT, and Rolvung og Brøndsted. Not only is the school designed to inspire students, but to engage the local community as well.

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The new Aarhus School of Architecture is meant to be an experimental laboratory serving as a bridge between students and the city, with facilities for learning and community use. It’s right next to Aarhus’ Green Wedge, a reclaimed area once used for industrial purposes that was transformed into an open landscape. Passive and active ventilation clear the air inside, and optimized daylight conditions ensure an excellent working space inside the 139,930-square-foot building.

Related: LEED Gold-seeking Santa Monica science facility uses architecture to teach students about sustainability

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Flexible spaces comprising workshops, studios, and public areas offer opportunities for experimentation inside the industrial structure. Vargo Nielsen Palle said in a statement, “When given the right tools and opportunity, people engage their surroundings…The school should not just be an institution for architecture – it should continue this open laboratory, sharing its tools and programs with the public to create opportunities for the informal evolution of architecture.”

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Aarhus School of Architecture rector Torben Nielsen said, “It is a powerful project that interweaves with its surroundings…It will be a factory for architectural experimentation that will set the stage for cooperation with the city, the profession, and our neighbors – just as we wanted.”

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Vargo Nielsen Palle, ADEPT, and Rolvung og Brøndsted designed the school together with engineering companies Tri-Consult and Steensen Varming. They won an international competition entered by heavy hitters like BIG and SANAA. The new school is expected to be complete in 2020.

+ Vargo Nielsen Palle

+ ADEPT

+ Rolvung og Brøndsted

Via Aarhus School of Architecture

Images courtesy of Vargo Nielsen Palle, ADEPT, and Rolvung og Brøndsted