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TQ Schools: Rinsgtabekk School by DIV.A

This school in Norway was designed to be flexible and workshop-like in its nature, as well as energy efficient and sustainable

The design brief for the school emphasised the potential relationship between new pedagogic methods and space, calling for a flexible, workshop-like building that could easily accommodate developing approaches. The school offers two levels with the multi-purpose entrance hall, the gymnasium and a large science and workshop area on the ground floor and three clusters on the second floor.

Each cluster offers a range of spaces, both in nature and size, ranging from intimate group rooms to formal auditoriums for up to 60 pupils, with an open study landscape in the centre, connected with an office for the team of teachers responsible for each cluster. Typical of a cluster model, the three clusters are themselves arranged around a common core, a two-storey central communal space, the ‘campo’, which can accommodate the entire school population.


A snowy scene at Ringstabekk School; perhaps because of the chilly Norwegian winters the school’s interior provides an ample array of spaces in which the life of the community can be played out

This layout offers the possibility to use a broad range of teaching and learning methods, both theoretical and practical. Special emphasis was placed on the outdoor area, which is designed to accommodate ‘learning through landscape’. The school was generally devised with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

Due to its compactness and mechanical ventilation, it is the first school in Norway to achieve ‘Passivehaus’ standard. There is under-floor heating on the ground floor and wall-mounted radiators on the first floor. The facade is clad in untreated larch, prefabricated white concrete elements and an aluminium glass profile system. Internal light walls combine signal colouring and light tones, with the ‘campo’ and library clad in oiled oak.

Ringstabekk School

Baerum, Norway
2005: 6,435m2

Christian Kuhn reviews other school typologies in February’s AR: Orestad College by 3XN Architects, Romania School by Herman Hertzberger and Leutschenbach School by Christian Kerez

TQ Schools: Rinsgtabekk School by DIV.A

TQ Schools: Rinsgtabekk School by DIV.A

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