The topping-out ceremony was held for Handelshuset (the Commercial Centre) at Herningsholm Vocational College. The garlands had been raised, the hotdogs were ready, and 150 people – craftsmen, employees, architect, contractor, adviser and Board members – were there to celebrate that the new building is beginning to take shape, based on C.F. Møller’s winning drawings for the 2014 project competition for the new building’s design.
“It’s really fantastic to go round and view the building,” said Søren Tortzen, department head at C.F. Møller’s Aalborg office, in his speech at the ceremony. “It’s a very simple and straightforward building. I’m really pleased that the college has been so true to the original proposal for the building. I’m convinced that this building will be seen as an innovative and architectural beacon,” he said.
A building that brings everything together
The new section is integrated with Herningsholm Vocational College’s current site, but also has clear distinguishing characteristics. Handelshuset will be the home of the commercial vocational educational programmes, which today are housed at a remote site. John Egebjerg, Herningsholm Vocational College’s director, is very pleased with this.
“Our objective over the last ten years has been to combine all of our education programmes in Herning at one campus, and the building will be completed in December,” he said at the topping-out ceremony. “We’ve every good reason to be satisfied with this building,” John Egebjerg says.
The commercial college has an innovative interior – with focus on creating optimum learning spaces and study environments – and exterior in relation to the surrounding context, where attractive and welcoming spaces provide excellent opportunities for working and teaching outdoors.
The design of the learning spaces – the architecture
– is of great significance to the students’ everyday learning process, and is therefore adapted to modern democratic principles. The building is a wedge-shaped structure consisting of three separate blocks under a sloping roof. In terms of scale, this contrasts with the surroundings and diminishes from three storeys furthest to the south, to two storeys on the northernmost flank.
The wedge-shaped structure creates three new outdoor spaces for teaching and relaxing, juxtaposed against the established surroundings. The landscape is designed to support learning and the climate adjustment of the entire area. The teaching spaces are the backbone of the building. They are organised around a unifying common space, which functions as a flexible study environment.
The teaching spaces are grouped in pairs, with direct access to the common study space from every teaching space at the school. The common study space offers a variety of physical settings, including the double-height space towards the garden, which accommodates workshop-like activities, a student café environment for informal gatherings of students, and dedicated study corners, where the atmosphere is quieter and more intimate. Source by C.F. Møller Architects.