Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Kloden in Hou, Denmark by Cebra Architect
June 18th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Cebra Architect
Kloden is a 3.500 m2 extension of the Egmont High School in Odder Denmark – a school where mostly young adults live for a period of time in order to develop themselves and acquire new skills and knowledge. This particular school has a program for people with handicaps and some 50 % of the people attending the Egmont High School have some kind of handicap – they are either blind, mentally challenged or just missing a body part. This new extension is a sports facility for the students, but it is open for the general public as well. As such it must be a state of the art project when it comes to handicap friendly solutions as well as a new land mark for the school and the local town of Odder.
When people live with a handicap they have to do without the full use of their senses. Some people can´t see very well or may even be blind – others are deaf or move around in a wheel chair. To make sure that everybody – no matter their abilities – can easily find their way around the building and get to the facilities they need the building is designed as one single space furnished with large and very recognizable elements – each with several different functions. The elements vary in both shape and texture. Some of them are round and slick while others are jagged and rough – some are bright and garish and some are neutrally light – all designed to complement each other.
All in all there are seven elements placed inside the cylindrical building – each one of them is designed to have a multiple functionality. The Rock for instance is for both climbing resting fitness and so on. One simply finds a slope with the appropriate angle and uses it. A flat part of The Rock would be for sitting in a chair between exercises. A flat slope would be for resting playing or practicing with the wheel chair and as the sides of the rock get steeper the challenges will gradually increase and each person can find a level for himself as well as setting new goals and improving mobility.
All of the elements are held together by a circular running track called The Equator. The track is following the round façade and connects all of the functions placed on the upper floor. It is obviously for (blind) running wheel chair race and walking but it also serves as a traditional balcony for various activities and for following the different sports in the building from above – a lot of the users get around in wheel chairs and would normally see the world from sitting height and for these people the chance of getting an overview is a pleasant experience.
As the text above implies all of the elements in the house are named after landscape types. Apart from The Rock and The Equator the space features The Cliff, The Ocean, The Savanna, The Glacier and The Desert. As these are artificial landscapes inside a round shape we called the building Kloden which means The Globe in Danish. This also reflects the fact that everybody is welcomed in this house and that the School of Egmont has students from all over the world.
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