Completion Date: September 2013


Bønsmoen Primary School, Eidsvoll, Norway
Fortunen AS

Bønsmoen Primary School

An existing secondary school from the 1960’s has been extended and transformed to house a primary school with a health and resource department. The existing strict column-and-beam system has been complemented by new spatial qualities, and the banded fenestration of the west and north facades has been replaced by a varying rhythm of formats and heights. The aim has been a tight integration of different functional areas, and clear and flexible usability. Entrances to the different age group base areas have been decentralised, and the clearly readable entrances tie together indoor and outdoor areas. The different age areas are also picked out in different colours, repeated in the interiors. Inside, the base areas are subdivided by fixed furniture elements like kitchens, group spaces and podiums, which can be used as performance stages as well as rest areas.

The strong and extensive use of colour, inside as well as outside, works together with the interior spaces and fixed furnishings.

The project is primarily a refurbishment of an existing structure, which determines the relationship to the site. However, the main entrance has been revitalised by tying it to the library and a new amphitheatre cutting down and providing daylight to at least some of the spaces at basement level. All the way, the colours are leading you through the building.The use of colour has a meaning and the chosen colours is meant to give an existing visual play, as well as the colours work as an organizing and identification tool.

 We also believe that an active use of colours stimulate your consciousness, the youngsters minds and humor. We believe, that movement stimulates learning, such as wandering, climbing, playing etc. Moving through a landscape, not only promote physical form but also visual experiences with colours. The handling of the interior provides the users with an array of very nice spaces.

The new legislation for universal access is an important challenge in the architecture of Norway, which also provided some interesting insights: The half-level podiums, seemingly not accessible to wheelchair users, were actually very good spaces for children of all abilities to laze and play, whereas the visual contrast, provided all by the book, was in certain areas washed out against the background, to the detriment of the visually disabled. Colours are also used as leading elements for disabled.

The primary school gives the frames of the everyday life of 350 youngsters between 6 and 12 years of age, through 7 years of their lives. The aim was to give them a school they could be proud of, to give identity.

In this part of the world, the landscapes can stay covered by snow for 4-5 months of the year, making almost a white /grey scene. This asks for a bright full use of colours.

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