All six vacancies have been filled in the NEW AARCH project competition for designing the new Aarhus School of Architecture — marking the first time a new architecture school will be built in Denmark. Over the last few months, architects and students worldwide gave their all for a chance to compete against teams led by SANAA, BIG, and Lacaton & Vassal, who all pre-qualified for the final design competition this past fall. The Danish Building & Property Agency, who is the project manager and developer of the new school building, then launched an open design contest seeking three more architects to take part.
The open competition sought design ideas that present innovative solutions for revamping the school building's programming that suit present-day needs, as well as to develop the project's surrounding area in the heart of Aarhus in Godsbanearealerne, where the school will be relocating. As expected, the open call attracted a healthy amount of competition, receiving 235 entries from across the globe.
The jury selected the three equally ranked winners. They are:
- Atelier Lorentzen Langkilde | Denmark
- Erik Giudice Architects | France/Sweden
- Brian Vargo, Jonas Nielsen & Mathias Palle | Denmark
All six candidates will advance to the restricted design contest, which is currently expected to launch August 1.
Have a look at the winning proposals below.
Atelier Lorentzen Langkilde
Project excerpt: "How simple can a school of architecture be? Could it be a large workshop space with maximum volume for maximum flexibility? Could it be as simple as an open framework for creativity, like a three-dimensional canvas? We believe that this is exactly what a school for architecture should be – an invitation to create, a robust space for innovation, an open space for knowledge-sharing where ideas hatch and new concepts flow freely between students and teachers. A School of architecture dedicated to and designed for investigation, experimentation and prototyping. This is Aarhus school of Architecture – An open frame for architecture."
Erik Giudice Architects
Project excerpt: "For the new Aarhus School we propose a pedagogical toolbox inspired by the industrial history of the site, an ever-changing urban catalyst offering flexibility and opens towards the city and the future. The project is placed close to the Katapult theater and the Godsbanens cultural center to create a vivid cultural platform. The architecture school creates a transversal link between Carl Blochs Gade and Sonnesgade. Different flows crosses and connects to the building: the pedestrian street Carl Blochs Gade, the new masterplan street, the green wedge and the train line. The building is [shaped] by the flows."
Brian Vargo, Jonas Nielsen & Mathias Palle
Project excerpt: "The new Aarhus School of Architecture will provide the tools and opportunity for students to remove the boundary between theory and practice. Just as Institute for (X) and Godsbanen already inspire activity in this industrial context, A-LAB will anchor the spirit of exploration for Godsbanearealerne and Aarhus K. The new school will not just be a center for education; It will be a laboratory for students and the community to engage through architecture.
As in any laboratory, the studio workspace will be optimized with the proper tools and materiality to support prototyping, building mock-ups, and large-scale models. Beyond what is necessary, the architecture would be reserved and simple to not obstruct creativity and to successfully meet the project’s budget. Simple steel frame and concrete light decking construction as in any industrial workspace. The emphasis is not in form of the space itself, but rather the creativity and production that the space enables."
You can also check out each team's project board in the image gallery right below.
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