Design TeamJames Watkins, Ola Spangen, Katrine Aursand, Dag Spangen, Mads Jansen, Øyvind Sundli, Silje Romedal
Text description provided by the architects. The project contains new student housing at Toneheim Folkehøgskole, meant to replace the existing housing. The student housing is organized around a common yard, a Norwegian traditional typology called “tun”. The new structure is vernacular and exiting, and deeply rooted in the site and history. The new tun is a place where students, teachers and others thrive, both inside and outside. A place where traditions meets modern architecture with a personal expression – con anima!
The idea behind the structure is one simple building block, that is repeated and varied according to the placement on the site and the orientation. Through this principle, the terrain is left mostly as it is, and every building block is given an accessible entrance. Each building block consists of five 2-person bedrooms, a common room with a kitchen and lounge and bathroom facilities. The common rooms and the entrance zones are all oriented towards the common yard. Every student will pass the common room on the way in or out of the house, which ensures good contact between the students. The 2-person rooms put restrictions on how much private space there is, and makes the students interact and tolerate each other.
The plan is compact, which makes the buildings efficient regarding space, energy and economy. The bedrooms have a flexible plan and can be furnished in different ways. They can also be used by students in a wheel chair. The storage space in the bed rooms are maximized, with storage space both underneath the bed and in the wall niche above each bed.
The stair is integrated in the common room and creates smaller space in the room; a more private place in the open common room. In these small, intimate room the students can read or call their parents. The spaces that the stairs create, establishes connections between private and social spaces, and connections between the inside and the outside. The stair tower is also an important internal and external element regarding the shape of the house, as well as an important element regarding the environment. Sky lights in the stairwell contributes with a generous shower of daylight along the walls.
The common rooms are all oriented towards the new common yard. To ensure that the big open space is working well, a new in-between zone is introduced. The in-between zones consist of smaller places between the yard and the entrance zones to the different rooms. These smaller spaces are furnished with benches and robust plants, and connects to the walking axes through the area. Natural places to meet and spend time are created in the yard, with different unique qualities and connections to the whole.
Small outdoor benches are established in the façade of the buildings, and connect the common rooms inside with the yard. Tactile attention zones and guiding lines are integrated in the walking paths to ensure orientation for the visually impaired.
The bedrooms in the houses in the south and the west have an astonishing view towards the rural Stangelandet, and the bedrooms to the northeast have a view towards the church Vang kirke.
Fruit trees and robust bushes that need little maintenance are preferred in the “tun”, for instance juneberry, that gives flowers in the spring and berries in the autumn. Katsura trees and pines are planted between the student housing and the neighbouring houses, and creates a veil with autumn colours and interesting leaf shapes.
To maintain traffic safety, a tactile zone is marked up where the walking paths cross the street between the school entrance and the student housing.
ENVIRONMENT / CLIMATE / ENERGY
The student housing is designed according to the passive house standard. A compact plan and a chained building structure gives smaller facades and thus a limited loss of heat from the building blocks. Windows facing north have been given a very low U-value. Windows facing other directions also have a low U-value, but can also work as sun heat catchers at the time of the day and the year when this is feasible.
The internal concrete elements contributes to a good indoor climate because of the thermal mass that minimizes natural changes in temperature. The stairwell, also known as the environmental core, is given a huge sky light that brings day light to the core of the building. The sky light has a hatch to send unwanted surplus heat out of the building with natural ventilation. Externally, the stairwell is given a 6 m² sun catcher facing south, for water heating. This could potentially produce enough hot water to serve the student housing, the school building and the canteen. The shape of the stairwell and its openings adapts to the orientation to optimize their use. This roof landscape connects to the tower at Vang kirke to root the buildings in the local context.
Balanced ventilation with a heat exchanger is installed. Surplus heat can be reused. In periods with a cooling need, the height of the stairwell enables a chimney effect to cool the building.
CONSTRUCTION AND MATERIALS
The buildings are built in wood and concrete. The concrete constructions are based on element production, to reduce the building time. Massive wood is used in the inner walls, which again reduced the building time but also improves the climate inside. The roof construction in massive wood with external insulation and internal gutters, ensures a compact construction. The external spruce cladding is treated with iron sulfate, which will give the buildings a grey patina with age.