schmidt hammer lassen architects just completed another building in Kolding, Denmark: The International Business College (IBC) Innovation Factory was officially inaugurated yesterday by the Prince Consort of Denmark. The 12,800 m2 (137,780 sq ft) educational building has gone through a total refurbishment and is designed to support new ways of learning.
The IBC Innovation Factory is the result of a refurbishment project of the paint manufacturer GORI’s factory from 1978, which set new standards for factories at the time. In the spirit of the original factory, schmidt hammer lassen architects, in collaboration with International Business College (IBC) Kolding, has created the settings for a ground-breaking and creative learning environment, aiming to become the world’s best. The ambition is to be a training camp for future innovators.
“With the acquisition of the GORI factory in the summer of 2010, the IBC gained access to a unique physical environment characterized by an impressive pioneering spirit and vision. It was the first factory plant in Denmark to unite production and management in one large room, allowing visual connection between the two,” explained Founding Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects, Mr John Foldbjerg Lassen, and he continued, “The large paint tanks were decorated by the French artist Jean Dewasne, in the conviction that art in the workplace would inspire employees and provide a better working environment. The same idea inspired the incorporation of badminton courts and Ping-Pong tables on the production floor for the employees.”
The main task for schmidt hammer lassen architects has been to preserve and emphasize the building’s existing qualities and transform the facilities into an innovative learning environment. By using six elements – fire, water, greenery, light, sound and air – the concept for the new Innovation Factory was developed with an emphasis on stimulating the users’ senses. A central teaching facility in the shape of an indoor ‘landscape furniture’ designed in Douglas pine wood incorporates a variety of learning spaces and experiences. The wooden structure, which seems to float above a surface of water, has an auditorium, places for open study, an amphitheater, and closed podiums for group work or quiet study time. There are green plants, the sound of trickling water, birds in aviaries and plenty of daylight from the skylights above.
“Students, teachers, and the business world can meet and learn from each other in this unique setting. The building should support and inspire this encounter. The main architectural concept behind the ‘landscape furniture’ is created in that spirit. We are convinced that the experience of quality and well-being is highly conducive to creativity,” explained John Foldbjerg Lassen.
schmidt hammer lassen architects has designed a number of educational buildings which support new ways of teaching and learning. Examples include the award-winning City of Westminster College in London (2011), VIA University College in Aarhus (2011), and Thor Heyerdahl College (2009) in Norway.
Architects: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Client: IBC International Business College, Kolding
Area: 12,800 m2
On commission: 2009
Status: Construction GORI (1978, 1984); Construction IBC 2010 – 2012
Engineer: Rambøll A/S
Other consultants: Alectia (fire)
Main Contractor: MT Højgaard a/s, Odense
All images courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects.