“Ung AUC”, which is the Education Centre for youngsters between 14-25 years in Aalborg, carried out a renovation of the centre in 2018/2019 and in this connection, it had the opportunity to create brand-new settings. Both teachers and management wanted to create a new framework offering the young people the best conditions to succeed and to be independent in a safe community, which accommodates and includes all types of students and offers the possibility to vary the teaching and support learning. Simultaneously, the school had space limitations and therefore needed to exploit every square inch and each available space.
The team of teachers started out by describing in detail the demand and wishes for each individual room which contributed to the success of the project.
One of the great achievements is the large common area in the center of the building. By installing a ”cave wall” with integrated sitting niches in the middle of the room, as well as various zone areas with furniture in different heights, materials and colours, a new type of room experience has been created. In this way, the common area has been provided with many functions and today works as a stunning “room in the heart” at the school.
The common area is today used as a classroom (often for more teams and teachers at the same time) and as a room for social gatherings for the students. Therefore, the room is always busy all day long. There is room for concentrated work, cozy interaction in the pauses, games and activities, studying and contemplation, group work and relaxation. A lot of students can sit in the area and carry out many different activities at the same time – without the sense of a railway station during rush hour. This was exactly what the management and the teachers wanted. Both teachers and students are happy about the common area which most importantly has activated a lot of extra square meters for educational purposes and which can embrace all student types.
EAT & MEET
A part from the large common area ”Ung AUC” has created a new cafeteria area with a mix of cozy diner arrangements, high tables, coffee tables and a number of old cafeteria furniture, which was redeployed, They were far too nice to be thrown out and could easily be integrated with the new furniture. The demand for the cafeteria was – like in the common area – that it should have space for many/all, that it must be used for gatherings and presentations and that it should be able to meet the demands for protection and shielding of the most introvert students, while still allowing them to feel a sense of community.
The school wanted to create a room both with a cozy environment that the student would want to use for more than just eating. Especially the diner booths with the diner benches and tables in combination with cozy lamps throwing a varm light on the tables have infused the right atmosphere. And there is no doubt that all this has made a great difference. Currently many students use the room for teamwork, studying and social intercourse.
In two of the classrooms the school decided to involve a part of the room at one end for teamwork with a soft seating area. By adding big window sections from the classroom towards the eating area the school creates an intimacy to the students that would otherwise disappear to other facilities when working in teams.
Least but not last, Ung AUC has decided to involve the students more directly in several exciting and creative projects. The main project was the construction of the partition wall with caves in the common area. Højer Møbler supplied the idea, architect and construction drawings and based on this a group of teachers and students build the wall. Moreover a few other tasks have been carried out by the students. The former copy room was transformed into a small cozy corner by dismantling the door, constructing benches along the wall and creating cushions for the benches. The students and teachers also build the plant boxes, that serve as mobile, green partition walls around the school. Moreover, they have made their own pinboards using cloth that match the other furniture. The involvement of the students has been a good learning process but has also ensured the students’ ownership and has made it even more THEIR school.