Umeå School of Architecture has a unique location by Umeå River. With its interior landscape of open floor levels and sculpturally shaped stairs, the building has a strong artistic expression.
As a growth centre for future architecture, the main function of the building is to provide the framework for inspiration and innovation. From the outside, the building has a cubic expression with its larch facades and square windows placed in a vibrant, rhythmic sequence on all sides. The interior space of the building is designed as a dynamic sequence of stairs and split, open floor levels where abstract, white boxes hang freely from the ceiling filtering the light coming in through the high skylights.
One of the key objectives has been to create a bright and open study environment where everyone is part of the same room – only separated by the split levels and glass walls of the teaching rooms. This design supports the opportunities for mutual inspiration and the close exchange of knowledge and ideas.
In contrast to the dynamic atrium, the drawing rooms placed along the facades of the building in a strict and regular sequence of columns and beams have a simple and rational design. The varied pattern of windows not only creates a strong visual effect – it also generously lets the light flow into the building and offers a breathtaking view of the river.
The School of Architecture will form part of the new Arts Campus at Umeå University, which will also comprise the new Academy of Fine Arts and Art Museum – both designed by Henning Larsen Architects.
Location: Umeå, Sweden
Gross floor area: 5,000 m2
Year of construction: 2007 - 2010
Type of assignment: Comission
Henning Larsen Architects
White arkitekter AB
Photograph: Åke E:Son Lindman