House of Nature

Architect
ReVærk
Location
Silkeborg, Denmark | View Map
Project Year
2021
Category
Private Houses

House of Nature

ReVærk as Architects

As the first in Denmark, Silkeborg Folk High school offered “Nature and Outdoor life” as a main teaching subject and as the popularity of the subject continuously increased the school wanted to improve their teaching facilities. Therefore, the brief for the new educational building was to create a space that exude nature and creates a close connection to the surrounding forest. Furthermore, a main priority for the school was to set new standards for sustainable building practice. ReVærk mainly works with the use of natural materials. The studios' mission is to expose the beauty of the basal and strive to use environment and indoor- climate friendly materials and solutions. Elements that not only succeeds in a technical manner, but also holds its own aesthetic values. Doing so, building tradition and cultural heritage often provides substantial inspiration.

photo_credit Martin Gravgaard
Martin Gravgaard

In order to accommodate the client’s brief the design approach was to create a building as purely based on wood as possible - given the building requirements. To do so, the inspiration comes from historic building techniques. The construction is inspired by an old danish ‘bullade’ timber frame construction dating back to the Viking Age and the ventilation/heating is based on an 250 year old Russian ‘Fortochka’ window concept using natural integrated ventilation through thermal buoyancy. Additionally, the building is insulated with wood fiber made from wood residuals and placed on screw pile foundation eliminating the need for concrete.

photo_credit Anders Rajendiram
Anders Rajendiram

To make a building that is closely connected to its function as an educational space for outdoor life, the use of natural materials and rustic building component solutions has been an obvious choice. The surrounding forest gives a play of light that creates a unique atmosphere in every room. The house that is built with visible constructions rests on a screw pile foundation. This allows the building to extend in between the trees of the forest and thus providing each room of the house a special connection to the varied, open and dense spaces of the forest. Sourcing logs of oak and douglas fir at a sufficient quality, cut and size, interior douglas fir cladding of the right dimension, exterior acacia shingles for the building, etc. required a great insight into manufactures and a high level material control to ensure a long lifetime of the building itself and a visually pleasant aging. This made the building suffer a delayed building period but ensured an equal high level of materials throughout the project.

photo_credit Anders Rajendiram
Anders Rajendiram

Low quality of the building site itself demanded a special way of building the foundation. An unusual high level of groundwater and a massive layer of organic soil made standard solutions of concrete inefficient and expensive. Instead, the screw pile foundation resulted in a both environmental and economical sustainable solution. Creating learning environments is not just to create undefined spaces for activity. It is an invitation as well as an obligation to improve specific conditions in order to connect subjects to their essence. With the Forest workshop, Re- Værk aimed to do so and thus give the client a project that did not only provide the obvious needs but also added a statement and an atmosphere to affect and inspire. Additionally, the building displays a strong connection to historic roots and shows how this can be an inspirational toolbox not only to unlock a beautiful piece of architecture but also to provide genuinely relevant potentials in creating a contemporary, truly sustainable building.

photo_credit Anders Rajendiram
Anders Rajendiram
photo_credit Anders Rajendiram
Anders Rajendiram
photo_credit Anders Rajendiram
Anders Rajendiram

Material Used :
1. Interior cladding: Dinesen Douglas fir
2. Construction (interior): Douglas fir
3. Floor: Pine End wood
4. Ceiling: Troldtekt grey nature
5. Ceiling lamella: Dinesen Douglas fir
6. Insulation: Wood fibre
7. Exterior cladding: Acacia shingles
8. Facade construction: Oak wood
9. Terraces: Kebony character

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Products used in this project
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
TerracesKebony
CeilingTroldtekt A/S
Ceiling lamella, Interior cladding: Douglas firDinesen
Product Spec Sheet
Terraces
Ceiling
Ceiling lamella, Interior cladding: Douglas fir
by Dinesen
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