The Univer­sity of South­ern Den­mark is de­signed by Hen­ning Larsen Ar­chi­tects to fa­cil­i­tate trans­parency and open­ness

MGS Architecture - - News -

The de­sign of the Univer­sity of South­ern Den­mark by Hen­ning Larsen Ar­chi­tects sup­ports a range of dif­fer­ent learn­ing sit­u­a­tions through a va­ri­ety of spa­ces rang­ing from an atrium de­signed to fa­cil­i­tate trans­parency and open­ness, to group dis­cus­sion zones and large stair­cases for walk-and-talk

From the out­side, with its tri­an­gu­lar struc­ture, Cam­pus Kold­ing fea­tures a re­ver­sal of the tra­di­tional struc­ture of ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions by mov­ing learn­ing into the heart of the cam­pus and away from long cor­ri­dors and closed class­rooms. The dy­namic atrium gives stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to choose between a va­ri­ety of learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments and study places. Each floor is ar­ranged to create fields of in­ter­sec­tion between teach­ers, re­searchers and stu­dents, while pro­vid­ing ar­eas for quiet re­flec­tion and con­cen­tra­tion.


The build­ing rep­re­sents strik­ing and in­no­va­tive ar­chi­tec­ture in its form and func­tion. Its en­ergy con­sump­tion is so low that it is clas­si­fied in En­ergy Class 1. The sus­tain­abil­ity strat­egy

has not just min­i­mized the build­ing’s en­ergy re­quire­ment for light­ing, heat­ing, cool­ing and ven­ti­la­tion, but also op­ti­miz­ing the build­ing’s pas­sive char­ac­ter­is­tics, so that its form and struc­ture solve some of the tasks that would oth­er­wise re­quire en­ergy-in­ten­sive tech­nol­ogy. This has re­sulted in en­ergy con­sump­tion of just 48 kwh/m²/year, equiv­a­lent to 20-25 per­cent of sim­i­lar build­ings’ con­sump­tion. The geom­e­try of the ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign en­sures the best uti­liza­tion of ev­ery square me­ter and the sky­light in the atrium en­sures a fair distri­bu­tion of day­light to the en­tire build­ing. The build­ing has been part of a three-year de­vel­op­ment project which ex­am­ines how ther­mal prop­er­ties of con­crete can be in­creased, and the en­ergy con­sump­tion for heat­ing and cool­ing thus re­duced. In or­der to make op­ti­mal use of the ther­mal prop­er­ties of con­crete, the slabs are ex­posed where pos­si­ble. This pre­vents large fluc­tu­a­tions in tem­per­a­ture and im­proves in­door air qual­ity.


The fa­cade is an in­te­grated el­e­ment of the build­ing and is vi­tal to its unique and var­ied ex­pres­sion. The dy­namic so­lar screen­ing con­sists of around 1,600 tri­an­gu­lar shut­ters of

per­fo­rated steel which ad­just to the spe­cific cli­mate con­di­tions and user pat­terns and pro­vides op­ti­mal day­light and a com­fort­able in­door cli­mate spa­ces along the façade. The shut­ters’ per­fo­ra­tion is a light or­ganic pat­tern of round holes, which gives an ex­cit­ing ef­fect in the fa­cade seen from the out­side, but also plays on the light seen from the in­side. The fa­cade’s de­sign strikes the op­ti­mum bal­ance between the amount of light and en­ergy al­lowed to flow in, and the good out­look op­por­tu­ni­ties. When the shut­ters are closed, they lie flat along the façade, while they pro­trude from the façade when half-open or en­tirely open and pro­vide the build­ing with a very ex­pres­sive ap­pear­ance. The so­lar shad­ing sys­tem is fit­ted with sen­sors which con­tin­u­ously mea­sure light and heat lev­els and reg­u­late the shut­ters me­chan­i­cally by means of a small mo­tor. The dec­o­ra­tions in the build­ing are cen­tered on ‘time’ as a theme. They ap­pear as build­ing in­te­grated clocks on the façade, by the au­di­to­rium and class­rooms.

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