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High School

Architects: Longva arkitekter
Location: Tynset, Norway
Area: 135000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Ivan Brodey

Client: Hedmark County Council
Cost: 46 Mill. Euro

From the architect. Tynset is a small rural town in eastern Norway. The new high school is located on the edge of the town and has a wide catchment from the surrounding region. This region is characterized by large tracts of forest, with forestry being a key industry in the area. The climate in this part of Norway is notable for its hot summers and especially cold winters. The building is placed on a small rise giving expansive views in all directions.

The school has a large and complex program with several different study disciplines including both academic and practical subjects. The limited site area necessitated a compact and rational plan. Due to the prevalent cold conditions the school is organised around a large, indoor communal atrium. Each department has a view into this space to emphasize equality and encourage communication. The main staircase and associated walkways are hung from glu-laminated timber beams. The blackbox theatre for dance and drama placed within this main space brings scale and variety to the large room. The wave-formed slatted wood walls of the blackbox also function as sound absorbent.

The plan follows a simple schema. All the classrooms are placed against an outside wall while the study areas, group rooms and break-out spaces are orientated towards the atrium. The building construction and machine workshops are placed in the basement with clerestorey windows into the main communal area.

Wood is used extensively in order to accentuate the importance of forestry to the region. The main structure in the atrium as well as the staircases, walkways and roof are all made from solid wood. The interior wall surfaces are mostly venners of birch and spruce. The exterior cladding is a mixture of horizontal and vertical timber weatherboarding. Flooring in the communal space is in-situ terrazzo while the teaching areas have rubber. The open plenum ceilings have floating panels of naturally coloured wood wool cement.