Culture house and housing – Alderslyst

Cross synergy
An area in central Silkeborg is undergoing an exciting transformation. Most of the former North School has been demolished and a new masterplan is being implemented in the area. The future will see 36 homes brought to the site for those with mental disabilities and brain impairments as well as a new activity and culture house – a health-promoting catalyst in the local area.

Synergy across the housing and the activity house

In the future, the North School site will house a new activity and culture house as well as a residential building in close proximity – spatially as well as programmatically. Furthermore, there is an ambition that the overall project will be a gain for the local area with an opportunity to draw new life and activities to central Alderslyst. In line with the project’s development, the Activity and Culture House has been integrated into a unified framework to accommodate activities for both residential services and leisure life – and not least to create a basis for synergy across the residential and leisure services in the area.

Strengthening active citizenship among residents

Through its interior design and programme, the vision for the new housing is to help strengthen active citizenship among the residents – i.e. give residents the opportunity to be a part of the community life, partly in the new cultural and activity house and partly on a wider perspective in the local area. By physically integrating the culture and activity house with the shared common rooms of the (accessible) housing, an integrated, sustainable culture and activity house is achieved. The combination of the two new buildings also optimizes land use by using the house throughout the day.

Good framework for residents and employees

A process has been carried out with the Danish Technological Institute in order to create a good framework for the residents and employees of the housing development both now and in the future. A number of feasibility studies have highlighted which users the new housing development should form the framework for, as well as which local area the housing development must actively include. This means, amongst other things, that the housing is broken down into smaller units and that individual homes in the housing development are flexible and can be adapted towards an individual’s needs and desires for a division of space.

A residential offering with a homely environment

The focus is on the housing development to appear as a domestic environment as opposed to a classic institutional environment. Here it should look, smell and feel homely. From the common room of the residents there is access to south-facing common terraces. The large windows allow the daylight to enter deep into the building and the large overhangs to screen the direct sun, creating shelter on the terrace. From all the dwellings there are close connections to the outdoor areas and access to private terraces.

Sustainability as an integrated design parameter

Sustainability has been used as an integrated design parameter from the start of the project. The design strategy integrates social, economic, environmental and technical aspects into a holistic whole – what we call ‘360-degree sustainability’. Optimal energy and resource utilization are basic conditions for the design, where significant spatial optimization has been achieved by integrating the programme across municipal sectors, thus more people benefit from fewer square meters – across an entire day. At the same time, the old school’s hall has been refurbished with new functions after an energy renovation and reconstruction with the new on-site features. The residential houses are designed with brick facades based on recycled bricks from the site’s closed school.