Fredrik II VGS is a vibrant social hub where both people and architectures meet. It is an urban campus in Norway, that contains school and sports, concerts and events, city and park space, games and elite sports, children, and adults. In our competition proposal, the architecture from the old and new quarters of Fredrikstad meet and create an atmosphere that is open and inviting. Fredrik II VGS is a space for everyone.
The synergy between old and new
In our competition proposal, we connect school, gym, and arena to one open, urban campus. The campus design is inspired by the old quarter of Fredrikstad with its cosy city spaces and narrow streets. The buildings are connected through a network of inner streets and open spaces, where people can meet for classes and events. In the campus design, we combine elements from the older part of the city with elements from the newer part of the city, where campus is located.
The arena and the gym are visible from the harbour. They both form an organic but distinct part of the seafront. The main materials of the buildings are tree and aluminium, which connects with the existing architecture, that is characterized by industrial buildings with large facades. The facades of the school building are, however, in a smaller scale, which evokes the ambience of the old quarter and is accommodating towards the school’s younger students. Fredrik II VGS is a symbol of community, that contributes to a dynamic development of Fredrikstad’s new quarter.
The accommodating nature of the buildings
The campus is surrounded by nature in the form of parks, the ocean and green avenues. In the campus design, we made sure that the surroundings are visually accessible from campus so students can be inspired by nature during the day. We bring nature into campus by placing trees along the inner streets and including green squares and rooftop terraces. Students learn about nature and biodiversity by observing and experiencing the green and blue areas of the school. The surroundings become an active part of class that support learning and physical activity. Outside of school, campus is a green oasis in the city, where citizens can enjoy evening walks or spend a relaxing Sunday.
Central on campus is the arrival square. From here, there is easy access to all buildings through the network of inner streets. The welcoming square creates an open atmosphere for new users, that can relax and mingle in the square’s sitting areas before events. Students can meet in the square before and after school, which supports community across ages. At night, campus is a gathering point for the citizens of Fredrikstad, where they can enjoy sports events such as hockey games or cultural events such as concerts, exhibitions, and fairs. Campus plays an active part in making the new quarter an attractive part of town, that buzzes with activity and life.
Sustainable ambitions in the campus design
Our competition proposal for Fredrik II VGS lives up to the BREEAM-NOR 2016 certification level Excellent. In the project, we have focused on creating a warm, safe setting so that campus is an open and accommodating space for both students and citizens. The buildings have skylights that can be opened if necessary. This creates natural lighting and a healthy indoor climate. The primary materials are tree and aluminium, both of which are produced locally in Norway and give the building a timeless, Nordic look. All the materials have been chosen because they are simple, robust, and low maintenance. Furthermore, all materials have a strong environmental profile from production to disposal. Parts of the school building can be taken off and used for other purposes or accommodate changes in the school’s size. The project is future proof, because the school’s design accommodates new teaching methods, allowing the building to remain functional throughout its life span.
- Østfold fylkeskommune
- 43.500 m²
- Frederiksstad, Norge
- NORDIC, SLA
- EDiT - architectural visualization studio, Christensen & Co.