The school is located in Aalborg and pupils from 6-16 years attend the school. In 2020 a new interior design for the large common area, which is used by the pre-paratory classes and after school care was carried out. Complementary furniture to the existing school library and an inspiring makeover of the staff room at the school were also a part of the project.
The Sofiendal School had a large common area for the pre-paratory and junior classes that needed structure. They had noise problems, the space was not properly exploited, and the podium never used. The teachers team had a wish to involve the podium – especially in the after-school hours. The school also wanted to use the common area for educational purposes and teach the classes or small groups outside the classrooms. At the same time, the school wanted to have a “space” for children who needed to unload energy during teaching situations. It was a specific request to include a large climbing frame in the common area – close to the classroom – to allow the pupils to climb it for 5 minutes before joining the class again.
The schools’ desire to thematize the interior design of the common area resulted in the creation of several spaces with different themes in which the pupils could move around freely. The themes should include both niches and room for social group activities and contemplation. Three themes were introduced: The City, The Forest and The Sea. Additionally, the themes were used as a guideline for the colours in the design and later on for the photostats that decorate the walls. The green space with stage boxes and green Penta sofas is built around a “Forest” theme. The blue colours illustrate the “Sea” with blue Penta sofas and blue photostats with animals of the sea. Finally, yellow colours are used to point out the “City”. All through the design, solid plywood plates with high pressure laminate in selected colours are used as a common thread in the design. The solution has become a consciously planned activating learning space with a varied design, where children love to play and learn. The interior climbing frame has been installed in collaboration with Kompan.
In the common area various activities take place. For instance, a Green Corner has been established for photographing. There is also room for the schools’ food stand. At this school there is no cafeteria, as the pupils eat their lunches in the classrooms.
With the new design the school has upgraded the structure and has added the requested functions. They have improved the possibilities for teamwork in various zones and included room for both relaxation and recharging.
The teacher now has the opportunity to send out the more active children for a quick “spin” at the climbing area, so they can return discharged to the classroom. The interior design makes it possible to have a high level of activity at the climbing frame and at the same time attain the required level of tranquility in the “City” in the closed and shielded “City houses”. This means that there are active zones and quiet zones. Something for boys and girls and all types of pupils.
The sheltering City houses create their own room within the room, where the pupils have their own space to work uninterrupted from the climbing area. There are small holes in the shielding back plates which still makes it possible to see what is going on behind the furniture. A creative detail, that makes it even more interesting and appealing for the pupils.
Last but not least, the Sofiendal School has refurbished their staff room with neat, soft sofas creating a calm place for conversation and relaxation and coffee breaks. At the same time, there are high tables and chairs for lunch breaks, a presentation area in the middle for staff meetings and round tables and chairs for small unformal social get-togethers or exchange of information. The colours in the staff room are quite calm and subdued. In some of the furniture settings lamps are used to boost the intimacy and the large photostat at the end wall is used to enlarge the room and to underline the spiritual calmness of the room. This is where the teachers recharge for the next lesson or prepare small exercises.