From the architect. Fyrstikkalleén School, also known as F21, is the first facility in Oslo to house kindergarten, middle and high schools in one building. The school is situated in an area under development, and serves the local community by offering a multi-purpose hall, library, cafeteria as well as a meeting place for the residents.
The design intentions were to create a coherent school, fusing the old industrial buildings to the west, previously a match factory, together with a new modern school building to the east. The new and the old are linked by the new building's third floor, which creates a portal that serves as an easily identifiable main entrance to the school, cafeteria and library and as a thoroughfare to Grønvold Square in the north.
All general teaching areas are located in the new building, and specialized areas such as science labs and art/media studios are found in the existing building. An internal communication hallway and two large staircases connect the areas together and contribute to informal meetings between students and teachers.
The precise dark stone cladding and extensive use of glass facades on the new buildings results in a deliberate contrast to the 100-year old brick facades of the previous match factory. Only a few materials were specified in order to keep coherency between the old and new. The use of brick, concrete, stone, wood, steel and MDF are all highly durable materials and contribute to lowering the building’s environmental impact. The color scheme is gentle, with a palette of black, gray and white, with the thought that the students and teachers will give color and vibrancy to the school.
Transparency and clear organization of the building has been important in the design of the facility. The school’s courtyard is clearly organized with different activity zones. Skylights and extensive use of glass walls provide overall visual contact between students and departments, and contributes to excellent daylight conditions in the building.
The existing brick building was in need of extensive refurbishment, which was done in consultation with the local heritage authority. Almost all of the roofs were replaced with new structures, the original brickwork was refurbished as well as the windows which benefitted from a new double layer. The floors were radon proofed and a new concrete floor was laid out to improve thermal efficiency. The net energy use of the whole building was calculated at 128 kWh/sqm per year and is a fine result considering large parts of the facility contains the existing un-insulated buildings.
Fyrstikkalléen School is a sleek interplay between the historical and modern that provides unique learning areas that can be a catalyst in an area of Oslo that is under development.