Holistic well-being

Comfort - Building well-being


It is the interplay between the various factors defining people’s surroundings and their the mental and physical balance that architects, designers and planners explore in performing their duty – and fulfilling their social responsibility – to create spaces and environments that are both enjoyable and fit the function for which they were created.

 

In this day and age, holistic well-being – the mind/body connection – has become an obsession, reflecting an attitude that cuts across every aspect of our everyday lives, be it education, work or leisure. It is also a goal we strive to achieve through behaviours, lifestyle choices and consumption styles.

 

In many countries, especially in Northern Europe, public housing has long sought to meet this widespread need and to encourage it particularly among children. The Frederiksbjerg School designed in the Danish city of Aarhus by Henning Larsen Architects is the country’s first school to comply with the demands of the Danish school reform of 2013, which focusses on learning through movement and sensation as well as on an attitude of openness and community. In order to create ad adaptable and sentient learning environment the interiors offers students a wide variety of spaces featuring different degrees of light and materiality to stimulate both physical and cognitive activities.

The school complex is constructed around a large shared centre-room divided into 40 areas where different learning activities are encouraged through movement and play. Each area is specifically designed to cater to students of different age groups and levels of understanding. The construction also includes smaller niches offering quiet space for individual study.

The rooftop, spacious terraces and outdoor teaching facilities are designed as a natural extension of the surrounding cityscape and feature playgrounds as well as seating and furnishings suitable for holding workshops, relaxing and being used by the public outside of school opening hours. The school thus acts as a gathering point for the social fabric of the entire neighbourhood. As further evidence of the school’s relationship with the city, the façade of the building is largely made out of recycled bricks from old buildings in the area, thus emphasising the concept of environmental and economic sustainability.