Østengen & Bergo landskapsarkitekter: The site is limited, flat terrain with no particular sight to the surrounding landscape. However, the site is surrounded by a row of large, beautiful linden trees towards Rådhusgate in east, and nice hawthorns in south. In west, the site borders to a railway on a landfilling, 3 m above the schoolyard.
The building is placed towards north-east to achieve the best possible outdoor area oriented towards south-west. The site is divided into three parts from south to north:
- The green part in south with activities and playing areas in a park like atmosphere
- The court with a central “carpet” from the bus stop/ drop-off, towards the main entrance and throughout the building.
- Traffic area in north
Part of the roof top is made available as an outdoor area with two amphitheaters for outdoor teaching.
Bike parking and traffic.
Vehicular and pedestrian traffic is separated. Existing bus stop is moved to the north of the site. Parking for cars is at an external site. HC parking is next to the main entrance and the entrance to the gymnasium. Delivery and garbage pick-up is arranged along the north-side of the building. There are two main areas for bike parking, one close to the main entrance, and the other one next to the gymnasium, with enough space for 250 bikes.
The design emphasizes on creating attractive, varied and exciting activities for children and youth with different needs and skills, both during and after school hours. Next to the main entrance, a climbing sculpture welcomes students. The green part is covered by artificial grass due to the intensive use, with spaces for relaxation, enclosed area for ball play, skating/biking park, sand volleyball and strength and balancing challenges. The façade along the garbage shed is used as a bouldering wall, facing an area for street basket and a ping-pong table.
A seating construction in bright orange rubber asphalt is centrally located in the schoolyard. With its elongated shape and placement, the construction functions both as an outdoor classroom and as a tribune for activities on the green part of the schoolyard. Users are able to choose whether to sit, lie down, be a spectator, learn or simply eat lunch. Part of the outdoor area is covered by a roof and is suited for furniture. Learning is integrated in the pavers who have been characterized with the solar system, chemical formulas and the structure of selected elements.
Large concrete pavers cover the court. The outdoor classroom is in bright orange rubber asphalt. The entire park area in south is covered by artificial grass to get a calm and continuous surface. Asphalt is used for the driveways and pedestrian walkways.
The existing, large trees on site are preserved. Blossoming, sterile cherry trees are planted together with the orange seating element. The bike parking in north-west is under a grove of red oak. South of the field, sargent crabapple is planted in extension of the existing row of hawthorn.
The outdoor area is adapted to the requirements of accessibility for everyone, and all activities are available for the disabled. An elevator provides access to the rooftop. Walkways do not exceed an incline of 1:20. From the bus stop to the main entrance there is a visual guiding line.
Location: Hokksund, Norway
Client: Øvre Eiker municipality
Competition: 2009, 1st prize
Area: 7500 m2
Landscape architect: Østengen & Bergo landskapsarkitekter, Oslo
Architect: L2 Architects
Photo credits: All photos are by Østengen & Bergo landskapsarkitekter