LocationHáholt, Mosfellsbær, Iceland
Design TeamAðalheiður Atladóttir, architect FAÍ and Falk Krüger, architect AKT
Open CompetitionFirst prize, April 2010
ClientThe Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and the city of Mosfellsbær
SizesNetto area: 2855 m2, brutto area: 4094 m2, brutto volume: 11.682 m3
Text description provided by the architects. The first phase of FMOS, the new Upper Secondary School in Mosfellsbaer, provides space for up to 500 pupils. The building is intertwined with the landscape on the narrow plot, the diagonal lines of the building refer to the hills in the surroundings and one of the roofs turns into a green ramp to walk about on. Mosfellsbær is a town of approximately 9.000 inhabitants, situated 15 kilometers east of Reykjavik. It is the hometown of Iceland’s noble prize winner, writer Halldór Laxnes, from whom inspiration is sought: ”... and flowers grow on the roof”* – the landscape becomes the building which becomes landscape… The 12.000 sqm plot of the school is situated close to the town center and along Highway nr. 1, which lies through Mosfellsbær. This influences the shape and choice of material of the building, aiming to minimize sound emission.
Flexibility and innovative teaching methods are guiding elements of the design of the internal structure of the building. The three storey building is 4.100 sqm and consists of two main parts, which are connected by a light airy space that serves as an entrance hall and vertical circulation. It connects the main entrance of the building in the northeast (the east plaza) with the schoolyard in the south. This central and open area can be used as an extension for the canteen for events and exhibitions. The building houses six departments, 4 academic departments, one science department and one art department. They are distributed on all floors of the building. All public areas and administration (reception, library, canteen, multi-purpose room, staff room) are situated on the ground floor. One department is on the ground floor, the art department, to enable a direct connection to the exterior area. The upper floors house the science and academic departments. The classrooms can be divided into three groups: traditional classrooms, open working spaces and closed working spaces. The closed and open spaces form a variety of different situations where the pupils can study, either by listening , studying individually or in smaller groups . The design recognises each child as a unique individual with unique needs and desires in regards to its environment. The rich choice of spaces inspires and emphasises the individual person and can have a positive effect on its work.
The interior of the building is decorated with art on the walls of most rooms. The pieces which are called „Kula“ and „Lina“ (Bubble and Line) also serve as sound absorption. It is mandatory in Iceland to spend 1% of the building cost of official buildings on art. Very early in the process a decision was made to intertwine the art with the building and establish a dialogue between the artist and the architects. A closed competition for the artwork was held in the year of 2011, Bryndís Bolladóttir artist won. She developed her work with the architects and the acoustic engineer calculated the effect on the sound quality.
The type of interdisciplinary collobaration as mentioned above also took place between the architects, landscape architect and the acoustic engineer. The narrow plot lies along Highway nr. 1. The aim to reduce sound emission resulted in sound walls and hills along plot. They were designed by the landscape architect in collabaration with the architects and calculated by the acoustic engineer. Attractive outdoor spaces are created in between the hills, between the hills and the building and in between the building parts.
The building is assessed under BREEAM, a leading environmental assessment for buildings, resulting in a more sustainable building. The building has achieved an interim certificate, by scoring „very good“.
The BIM (Building Information Modeling) methodology was used designing the school. The architectural and engineering drawings are 3-dimensional and they all add up to one electronic model of the building. This method enables a new approach for the contractor and management of building.
*Halldór Laxness, Heimsljós – Höll sumarlandsins, chapter 17