Norre Vium school

Norre Vium school

Community Centres
Sønderupvej 21, 6920 Videbæk, Denmark - Build completed in 2017
Laura Stamer

The village in the school - Transformation of Nr. Vium School

Erik Brandt Dam Arkitekter as Architects

Nr. Vium School was built in 1966 and closed down in 2008. In 2010 the citizens bought the empty buildings of Ringkøbing-Skjern Municipality in order to develop the village in the school as a framework for everyday and leisure life in the parish.

The school is a 'type' designed by Jacob Kjær (1913-1989), a trained mason and building designer. Jacob Kjær performed several schools according to the same principles along the Jutland west coast from Tønder in the south to the Limfjord in the north.


The village in the school is for us the city we do not have. The place where you get past, hang out and meet, take the "talk over the hedge", deliver and retrieve children in the institution, and where the leisure and community life gets its natural focal point. Where social life and needs that exist in any village can be lived out.

By gathering the Village in the School, we have been given the opportunity to take advantage of the energy, cohesion and development potential that occur when people are together. Like the utilization of the spaces optimize, they can be used individually or together depending on the specific needs.

All this we will not hold for ourselves. We do not have enough in ourselves. We want to share, invite in, rent out, open up to the Village in School so that others, too, the local business who find it interesting, see opportunities in it or just want to be part of what's already, have also Somewhere they can feel welcome. In short - we will show that you can live in the countryside with all the privileges that the free nature and the good space provide - while having an active cultural and leisure life, - boys like girls, young and old. We want to show that it does not have to be either or. It can easily be a boat and.


With the architectural interventions, the experience of living lives in the buildings has been strengthened while new layers have been added that have expanded the reach of buildings in the 21st century. With the project we have met the building as it is, respected what preceded and reduced intervention to the necessary. In this way, there is an even dialogue between new and old, which specifically and generally points to the potentials of change processes. The interventions are concentrated on developing infrastructure, space and dynamic relationships between the building's functions. The multi-hall is the radical intervention of the project, which has introduced a significant and spacious space that has been "stored" in the old school and brings space and activities in contact with each other.

The central school in the country is a piece of cultural heritage from the early years of welfare society. The school houses many stories and still keeps the secrets of childhood. The building will not go into history as an architectural work, but as an example of a well-developed building built in solid materials and with a spatial organization that continues to give the school a characteristic and worthy appearance. The school contains an experience of belonging and historical continuity. Across all affiliation, we have school as a gathering place, which is not only to be preserved, but precisely because of its special status, it can be a catalyst to stimulate the development that is now to show the way in which the Village in the School is.


Reduction in the building stock has taken place by demolition of the former teacher's residence in addition to the gymnasium and of the residents' housing, which was extended to the north in the 1980s. Demolition was necessary to achieve satisfactory functional contexts and a realistic operation in the future. With the demolition of these buildings, the school / kindergarten has gain edits own entrance and an attractive orientation towards ball fields, playground and landscape to the north. At the demolition of the former teacher's residence in continuation of the Motor Hall, the owlmot if in bricks and parts of the walls is preserved to convey the building history of the school to future generations.


At the beginning of the project, the school was in its material and color position marked and appeared as a physical structure in large measure, as it was built. The colors of the walls were related to later maintenance and were divided horizontally in an upper part with food, smooth surface and a lower part with coarse corridor and shine.

The material content was evident for the 60s with mahogany-fined doors, linoleum floors in tern and perforated ceiling panels.

Typically, a wide range of asbestos-containing materials such as ceiling and wall cladding, perforated plates and adhesives for linoleum floors were also used. Sanitation was therefore a major task, which required new ceilings, wall coverings and floor coverings.

The project, which was to be realized for a very tight economy, did not include artistic outfit. Conversely, sharp, loving eyes needed to put both the material palette and the color attitude down.


The challenge was to revitalize the history of the polycromic school from the 60s, refer to colors and geo-metrics and at the same time take a new look because the partial demolition of the project broke down into larger, thereby creating transparency across spaces in building.

The ambition was that the school should be a warm, narrative framework for everyday and leisure life in Nr. Vium parish.


The color scheme, as the work of the spatial structure, gave rise to discussion among committed citizens who proposed colors for different rooms. Without control, this would lead to a cacophony of non-anchoring colors in a holistic way, as was the case with the colors we met in school in 2013, several of which went back to the 60's while others were added for later maintenance work.

Where the architect can formulate spatial synthesis, the visual artist can articulate space and spatial relationships through a sensual and thoughtful color scheme.

Collaboration on the color scheme between architect and visual artist would therefore be able to add something special to the building, which reinforces the dissemination, challenges and recognizes.

The visual artist Malene Bach is not afraid of the ordinary, to meet the world as it is and to cooperate on an equal footing with other advisors. It is very refreshing and therefore she was natural to contact. The meeting with Malene Bach convinced the developer that the color scheme should be prioritized both through material selection and the painting work to strengthen the spatial tales in school.


The color scheme emphasizes the design of the rooms, inspires creativity and movement and counselor for use and orientation in the Village of the School. Development of the color project has been done in close cooperation with the developer, users and stakeholders.

The color scheme of the walls relates to the continuous, existing horizontal division of the walls with corridors at the bottom of the wear surface. The color palette refers to color in the school that has been against color cards from the 60's. Green, blue and yellow are the wearing colors.

Ceilings and parts of the upper wall are covered with troldtekt without a fence in nature and black.

Linoleum floors are red in circulation areas, while groups in the nursery have their own color. Linole floors in new stairwells, on the balcony and in the carnival are black. Vinyl in the kitchen, changing room and bathroom are evenly black.

In the multi-hall is the sports floor of the beech park as in acticity-hall, where the existing floor is drained and lacquered.


The village of the school is driven by the belief that things can be done when you together have a dream and a will to make it happen. The project is an example of how, as a citizen, you can actively contribute to social development. Everyone talks that rural areas are losing height, but in Nr. Viumparish you find a will and an energy that you may not find in the cities. Introducing a visual artist in the process has been of great importance and emphasized that art in architecture does not have to lead to an independent work but can be a natural part of the planning and construction process, which reveals new possibilities, storytelling and thus adds to the construction an extra dimension. Program, architecture and colors have been developed in a process of many voices and, thus, are already deeply rooted in the community by the end of the project. Citizens have renovated a closed down school and developed the community at the same time - an example to follow.

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