New Nørvasund School Competition entry / Various Architects + Kant Arkitekter + Grindaker Landksapsarkitekter

New Nørvasund School Competition entry / Various Architects + Kant Arkitekter + Grindaker Landksapsarkitekter
© Various Architects

Update: We wrongly featured this entry as the winning design for this competition. The winning entry can be found here.

Various Architects, together with Kant Arkitekter and landscape architects Grindaker Landksapsarkitekter, shared their entry for a competition to design a new school for 1st – 7th grade students in Norway. Their proposal is an energy-efficient and space-effective building that integrates the school’s complex functional needs onto a suburban site. The compact design creates dynamic learning spaces for children, and from a sustainable standpoint, the design is set to achieve passivhaus standard due to its well insulated body.

More about their entry after the break.

The grades are divided into different arms (the 1st to 4th grade classes are placed to the east, 5th to 7th grades to the west, with the students with special needs placed centrally between the two to provide a truly integrated school) which branch from a main core with a good connection to the sports and recreation multi-hall.

© Various Architects

Each year’s area is defined spatially by the extruded boxes on the facades and roof. The extension of these volumes creates the opportunity for good daylighting deep into the space, and light from multiple sides. Plus, the design provides the opportunity to develop different zoned outdoor areas such as the 1st-4th playground which is defined by the “wavy sea” feature with a water theme or the 5-7 outdoor area that has a “beach” theme.

© Various Architects

Inside, traditional hallways have been replaced with areas that be used for multiple functions. This way the entire floor plate can be used as part of the educational environment, either for groups or individual workspaces. This allows the school to achieve a very efficient brutto/netto area factor of 1.3 compared to the goal in the brief of 1.35. Within the classrooms, foldable screens and sliding walls can be used to close off portions of the teaching area for better visual and auditory enclosure.

© Various Architects

On the exterior, the facade is a system of concrete facade panels ranging from black to grey and from matte to high-gloss. The classroom “boxes” are clad in environmentally friendly Kebony wood. This combination creates a low maintenance facade that will tolerate the harsh Ålesund climate. Colorful super-graphics on the walls and ground mark the various years’ entrances.

© Various Architects

The design challenges the traditional sense of a school and allows the whole building to function as a pedagogical tool.

New Nørvasund School, Ålesund Norway

© Various Architects
© Various Architects

Invited Architectural Competition, Spring 2010

Client: Ålesund Kommune


Kant Arkitekter A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark

Various Architects AS, Oslo, Norway

Landscape Architect:

Grindaker Landskapsarkitekter AS, Oslo, Norway


Sweco AS, Oslo, Norway

Size: 9166m2

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Cite: Karen Cilento. "New Nørvasund School Competition entry / Various Architects + Kant Arkitekter + Grindaker Landksapsarkitekter" 19 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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