- Design Team : Knut Brandsberg-Dahl, Margit Solibakke Klev, Thomas Lærdal, Danko Balog, Per Olav Pedersen
- Landscape Architect : Gullik Gulliksen
- Client : Nittedal Kommune
- Cost : NOK 60 million
- City : Nittedal
- Country : Norway
Text description provided by the architects. QUALITIES OF THE SITE
Our suggestion for the expansion of Sørli School is rooted in the existing school’s close relation to nature and a two-sided situation; nature on one side – access and built environment on the other. We underline and refine this two-sidedness in order to achieve spatial clarity in the situation and use the rebuilding as a structuring tool for the whole complex.
REFINING THE SITE’S TWO-SIDEDNESS
Towards east a clearly defined formal front plaza is formed with paving that marks the access way to the school and the school’s ‘’formal’’ side. Towards west natural qualities of the site are refined. The school’s informal outdoor spaces are placed here and prepared for various games and outdoor activities. The existing school yard is developed into a ‘’May 17th yard’’ (Norwegian National Day), a yard with a large outdoor auditorium, to be used in auspicious occasions, as well as in everyday activities.
A pedestrian path marks the western border of the complex and connects the different outdoor spaces with the gym and sport activities in the north and the southern access. This path can be seen in balance with the more formal plaza on the eastern side of the school.
CLEARLY ORGANIZED COMPLEX
Our starting point are the existing school buildings, in which we make minimal interventions. A clear main axis is established, stretching north-south and gathering shared functions (main entrance, personnel, library, auditorium, and extended school-stay) and administration, as a main communication. A new main entrance is established, between two existing buildings from different phases, and linked to the main axis.
The axis is manifest in plan, form, space, and the situation as a whole, underlining the two-sidedness of the complex. It is an architectural element which ties together the very different existing parts of the complex and the newest addition. Classroom areas stick out in a finger-like fashion from the main axis. Between the fingers outdoor spaces are formed and given separate identities, depending on the class they belong to.
COMPACT NEW BUILDING
The new south wing, with classroom areas for 4th through 7th grade, are organized in a compact volume south to the existing school buildings. The new wing is connected to the entrance plaza and gives the previously built wing a more central position. The new building is given a simple, rectangular form, which can be built rationally, with good climate properties and an effective and functional plan.
The new main axis continues towards the new wing over a bridge-house and splits the brick volume in the form of a high-gabled two-sided roof. The school’s library and an open space auditorium is located under this roof, at the end of the main communication axis, visible from the administration area by the main entrance. Shared spaces, the library and pupil’s lockers are made visible from the outside through large glass facades, while the classrooms areas lie in the brick volume, behind a varied landscape of windows.