Assignment and solution
Codesign got the assignment to create a school that makes everybody proud.
Working with schools is always an interesting challenge. The toughest part of the project was eliminating the traditional empty spaces in a school, such as corridors, and turning them into beneficial, primary areas that can be used both for teaching and meetings. The classrooms in the building have become interesting rooms within rooms. Several of them have deliberately been made smaller so that they can only accommodate 20 students. This is an example of how architecture can contribute to the pedagogical process by, for instance, ensuring the classes don’t become too big. The floor plan also controls the flow of movement around the classrooms with small and large discussion zones and workplaces. These zones can also be used by teachers to expand groups beyond the classroom.
Another reason for turning empty spaces into primary areas is so that previously threatening places – such as corridors where bullying and harassment can occur – become hives of activity.
A lot of sustainable thinking has gone into the project and as many recyclable materials as possible have been used. The decision was also taken to reuse as much of the old furniture as possible, so a lot of the old fittings have been restored. The old fence around the property, for instance, was used to build a small stage in the playground. And only six carpets were ordered for the seven classrooms; one has a patchwork carpet made from the cuttings of the other classroom carpets.
The cost of the entire project came in at SEK 7 million, instead of the budgeted SEK 8 million. A saving of SEK 1 million for the school.
For the first time in its history there is a queue of student applicants waiting to study at the school. This is all the more impressive when many other schools in the region are grappling with a declining number of applications. The Stockholm City Mission believes that the new interior is one of the main reasons for this. Furthermore, there is a new sense of pride among teachers and students, which in turn makes it an attractive school to be in.