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Karolinska Institute, Tengbom, future learning space, biowall, eco university, flexible design,

The Karolinska Institute is one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious medical universities. Tengbom won a design challenge to further enhance the institute’s facilities by revamping an underutilized space between the lecture halls at Berzelius väg 3 (popularly known as BZ). Now the bright and open space serves as a home away from home for students, teachers and staff. “Our idea was to create a second home for the students and an obvious focal point for them to meet and exchange ideas and learn from each other; we want the students to feel at home here,” says Tengbom architect Eva Falk.

This Future Learning Environment is for more than just learning though – Tengbom redesigned the space to provide areas for meals, communal activities, and information exchange. The building’s flexible layout and adaptable furniture lets students define their own sense of home and study. Privacy is carved out with curtains that wrap around tables, cozy booths, and quiet corners, while socializing happens in a number of bright and cheery communal areas with long tables, transforming furniture, and kitchens for making meals. Daylighting pours into the space and a light-filled atrium delineates an indoor garden with a living biowall. This attractive feature provides a connection with nature and also helps improve indoor air quality.

Images ©Stan Jansin