Midtun Skole – a school where renovation meets new construction


Midtun Skole – a school where renovation meets new construction

Photo: Hundven-Clements Photography

There are many reasons why we should always think of restoration when it comes to “new” projects. One is the historical value of a building, we can learn a lot from old buildings in terms of history, architecture, design and the old way of living. Another reason is sustainability. We must be considerate to the resources we already have, and make sure we contribute to a circular economy.

Midtun Skole was in need both of a renovation and a new school building. 4100 square meters was restored, and 2500 square meter surface was added. The school is a primary school, and with the new building the school can accommodate up to 500 students. The classrooms are specially designed depending on the subjects, there are special rooms for science, music, arts and crafts etc.

“Schools are complex buildings; all different phases have their own challenges. The schools educational is in constant change and demands that the school has some sort of flexibility. The building should last long, be endurable and the choice of material must be robust and sustainable. Necessary elements for a school are quality indoor climate, day light ang great acoustic”” says Liv Marit Haraldsrud, architect at ARTEC.

When standing in between renovation and new construction, there are several factors to take into consideration. In this specific case, both alternatives were used. However, renovation is not entirely straightforward either, as one must be aware of the buildings antiquarian value and make sure the old character only gets a face lift, and not be modified into something new. In parallel with the renovation challenge, the new building faced it owns challenge – to harmonize with the old building at the same time as it had to clearly differ from the existing building.

The municipality had a desire that the facade should match the exterior of the existing building, the rhythm of the façade is matching each building, but they still have a different geometry etc. The transition from the old to the new is clearly marked thanks to the dark profiles.

“The biggest challenge was the link between an old and a new school, both organizationally and architecturally. Antiquarian authorities did not want an extension. Finding a shape and clothing that could be accepted was difficult. The extension is between 2 existing buildings with different ages and quality. New building had to be lower than what is required of work buildings today. Now that everything is there, I personally wish there was a greater contrast between new and existing, but that was not the wish of the city architect and antiquarian.” says Liv Marit Haraldsrud, architect at ARTEC.

Architect: Artec
Investor: Bergen Kommune
Constructor: Veidekke
SAPA customer: H-fasader Bue Aluminium
Products: SAPA Window 1086, SAPA Door 2086, SAPA Fire door 2086, Façade 4150, SAPA Glass roof 5050