Our goal for Brinkskolan was to create a safe school environment which puts pupils and teachers first. As the architects of the project, we were given a major role throughout the entire process, from project description to construction documents and furnishings. We have endeavoured to create an educational environment which promotes playfulness and creativity, provides a space for spontaneous meetings, and which is educational in every aspect.
After winning a tender for Täby municipality north of Stockholm, we were given the opportunity to create a school environment for 400 primary and middle school pupils together with 100 preschoolers. The site, a gently sloping plot beautifully surrounded by tall pine trees and mixed forest, presents the possibility for an integrated school building.
The project has been implemented with a focus on sustainability from an environmental, social and economic perspective. High demands are placed upon the building with respect to the goal of meeting the criteria for the Sweden Green Building Council’s gold grade certification. At the same time, the pupils and staff played the principal role in the project. The fundamental pedagogical philosophy here is that we learn from one another, and this requires facilities which support communal gatherings in a range of ways. For this reason, the building provides a wide range of teaching environments of all sizes, open and closed, vibrant and calm, such that each and every learning situation will be catered for with an appropriate learning space.
So as to lend the large school building a scale which the pupils will feel safe in, we have divided it up into three annexes which are connected by a central space. The nucleus of our design principle was to clearly emphasise this interconnectedness by means of contrasts in the choice of materials, the formal language and function. The open, central space functions as the building’s hub and houses the main entrance, dining hall, library and assembly room. Here the interior is wrought in blonde wood – acoustic panels in stained spruce and solid wood supporting an integrated mezzanine level. The three brick annexes houses the dormitories which are organized as communal living spaces which connect the classroom and the cloakroom with the central space.
A consequence of the building’s shape is that it has no closed corridors, lending the space a transparency which contributes to making the school a safe environment.
The project was awarded the prize for Urban Project of the Year 2016 by Täby Municipality.