Completed in 2017 in Lidköping in Sweden, Majåkerskolan school is where pupils can complete the first six years of their education. The new school was built on the same site as the earlier school, which was demolished because it had fallen into disrepair. Liberta Cor-Ten rainscreen panels supplied by Ruukki were used in the façade.
Architects Linkarkitektur were responsible for the design of Majåkerskolan school and the Municipality of Lidköping imposed the building criteria. The school was to be a functionality-based learning environment. The goal was to create a school with a learning environment that would support sustainable use at both the individual level and that of society as a whole.
Design based on research
Besides classrooms, Majåkerskolan has a dining room and its own kitchen, school healthcare facilities and a sports hall with changing rooms. The school boasts a pleasant, creative and flexible learning environment that motivates pupils to take new approaches to thinking and doing things.
Architect Sofia Lilja at Linkarkitektur says that evidence-based design (EBD) was used in designing the school. EBD is a multidisciplinary approach based on research on how physical space affects people. For example, nature has a calming effect on people and reduces stress. Design solutions where nature can be incorporated into a building were given priority. Other criteria evaluated included light, sound, air and colours.
Environment and multiuse take priority
The Municipality of Lidköping’s requirement was for the school building to meet the criteria for the Sweden Green Building Council’s silver level. This affected design in the sense that eco-friendly construction materials were chosen for the building, which was designed to benefit from natural daylight and to save energy. Not only that, the materials also had to be recyclable.
The multiuse of the premises was taken into account at the design stage. For example, the sports hall has been separated from other premises so that it can also be used outside school hours.
Freer hand in the façade
The municipality mentioned no specific instructions or requirements for the design of the façade.
“The school is in the heart of a residential area featuring old buildings, including a church. We wanted to create an urban building that would contrast with the general look of the area,” says Sofia Lilja.
Sofia Lilja notes that people in the construction industry were really enthusiastic about the choice of Cor-Ten.
“I think Cor-Ten is a great façade material because it is robust and strengthens the design language of the school building. It gives the building the required contrasts in appearance,” says Sofia Lilja.
Sofia Lilja sees that the rust-coloured material is suitable for many different types of buildings. It is a warm, natural and living product. The Cor-Ten also has a strong contrast to bright elements which can help to cope with accessibility requirements around, for example, entrances. Clear contrasts are important for everyone and especially for people with reduced orientation ability.
“The building façade features fine contrasts. Cor-Ten brings warmth, the brick sections coolness and the metal sections a dark surface. Majåkerskolan is a great success story and I’m delighted with the outcome,” says Sofia Lilja.