House of Nature / ReVærk
Photographs: Anders Rajendiram
Manufacturers: Troldtekt, Dinesen, Aarhus Public Prosecutor’s Office, CBI Denmark (Agepan), Group of horns, Madsen Vinduer, Starter wood, Wood fiber
Text description provided by the architects. As the first in Denmark, the Silkeborg Folk High School offered ‘Nature and Outdoor Life’ as its main teaching subject and as the subject’s popularity grew steadily, the school wanted to improve its educational facilities. ‘education. Therefore, the mandate of the new educational building was to create a space that breathes nature and creates a close connection with the surrounding forest. In addition, one of the school’s top priorities was to set new standards for sustainable building practices.
In order to meet the client’s specifications, the design approach was to create a building as purely wood-based as possible – taking into account the construction requirements. To do this, the inspiration comes from the techniques of historical construction. The construction is based on an old Danish “bullade” timber frame construction dating from the Viking Age and the ventilation / heating is based on a 250 year old Russian “Fortochka” window concept using built-in natural ventilation by buoyancy thermal. Additionally, the building is insulated with wood fiber made from wood residue and placed on a screw pile foundation, eliminating the need for concrete.
To make the building as closely related as possible to its function and its surroundings, the use of natural materials and rustic building component solutions was an obvious choice. The house built with visible constructions rests on a foundation on screw piles. This allows the building to extend between the trees of the forest and thus offers each room of the house a privileged link with the varied, open and dense spaces of the forest.
The supply of quality oak and douglas logs of sufficient cut and size, interior Douglas fir siding of the correct size, exterior acacia shingles for the building, etc. required a great deal of manufacturing knowledge and a high level of material control to ensure a long lifespan of the building itself and visually pleasing aging. This caused the building to undergo a delayed construction period, but ensured an equally high level of materials throughout the project.
The poor quality of the site itself demanded a special way of constructing the foundation. An unusually high level of groundwater and a massive layer of organic soil made standard concrete solutions inefficient and expensive. Instead, screw pile foundations have resulted in both sustainable environmental and economic solutions.
Creating learning environments is an invitation as much as an obligation to improve specific conditions in order to connect subjects to their essence. With Atelier Forest, ReVærk aimed to do this and thus give the client a project that not only met the obvious needs, but also added a statement and atmosphere to affect and inspire. On top of that, the building displays a strong connection to historical roots and shows how it can be an inspiring toolkit not only for unlocking a beautiful piece of architecture, but also for providing genuinely relevant potentials in creating it. a contemporary and truly sustainable building.