VUC Syd - Haderslev, Denmark

Visionary educational centre in Haderslev is one of the winners of the German Design Award 2015.

Troldtekt, VUC Haderslev
Photo: Dipl.-Ing. Olaf Wiechers, Thomas Mølvig & Adam Mørk

Architecture at its best has the potential to change how we think – and act. The new adult educational centre VUC Syd on the harbour front in Haderslev in southern Jutland is just such a building, with the projecting site worthy of an opera house. At the same time, the design of both the building exterior and interior is of an extremely high standard. Haderslev thus sends a clear signal to its citizens and the outside world that education and urban development have the highest priority.

The sculptural structure is centred traditionally around an atrium, but boasts a superbly dynamic exterior and interior. The façade has been given a twist with staggered balconies, creating a spiral-shaped movement towards the water. The inside of the building is characterised by its cultivated openness and transparency which pervades all five levels. A Nordic space that opens up towards the light in a fantastic sequence of rooms, stairways and walkways.

On the ground-floor level, there is access to a sports hall, an auditorium and a canteen. Thus, in addition to being a progressive educational environment, VUC Syd is also a cultural centre for the citizens of Haderslev. The next three levels are used exclusively for teaching purposes and divided by subject into science, culture and languages. The uppermost level is reserved for the administration and the teaching staff.

The sports hall is immediately on the right of the main entrance and is sunk into the terrain to provide adequate ceiling height. Here, it is possible to follow what is happening in the hall through the large panorama windows. The ceiling of the raw concrete hall has been clad where necessary with Troldtekt acoustic panels to dampen the sound, ensuring a good acoustic environment for physical activity.