Mälardalen University wanted a new campus in Eskilstuna which would primarily be a gathering place for both students and staff. It was important for the university that students and staff could maintain the feeling of proximity in the new campus. There were also thoughts of effectivity and shared use of premises as well as a desire to create a strong symbol for the activities in the city. When AIX was commissioned to be the university's interior architects, the architectural assignment had already been decided by Danish architects 3XN. The proposal was a spectacular building that incorporated a bathhouse located right down by Eskilstuna's river, designed by Paul Hedqvist in 1933. Eskilstuna is an old industrial city with many characteristic brick buildings after the river. Brick and water. In the design, we have worked with key words such as warmth, variety and small scale. In terms of color, AIX has been based on the industrial façade of the industrial city, from the darkest iron oxide red, to the lightest pale pink in the new parts. Water and blue tones have been a theme for the rebuilt bathhouse. Together with the University, we adapted the floor plan for the new ideas that were raised along the way. The university's management was interested in new forms of working methods as activity-based workplace, in harmony with a desire to keep the staff group together across academic boundaries. AIX supported the University with workshops, both in terms of office environments and teaching methods. Campus Eskilstuna is a workplace for 290 people. The workplace must encourage transparency and creativity where there is room for group work and individually concentrated work. The learning areas have been designed based on the latest research regarding learning. A large variety of training rooms have been created, from large auditoriums to classrooms. There are also special rooms such as studios, workshops, resting rooms. Public areas and informal study places are important for the students' well-being as well as for the study results. Great emphasis has been placed on the design of study areas such as group rooms, open meeting and study places, libraries, and lunchrooms for students. A common meeting place has been in the border between the parts where students move freely and the part of the building that belongs to the staff. Here, students and university staff can meet for outside scheduled teaching time. The library in two floors is in the former bathhouse. On the entrance level there is a magazine library, place for exhibition as well as study places and group rooms. The two floors are connected by an auditorium with reading places and group workplaces in the part that was previously the pool. The library's bookcases are on the upper floor. There are also study places and a quiet study room here. The result has been an inspiring and modern university environment where students, administration, teachers and researchers can interact and develop.
Design Team AIX Arkitekter: Annika Askerblom, Malin Lindell, Heli Vauhkala, Matilda Emricson, Malin Lydén, Kristina Daoud, Lena Lynch, Meryem Gülenay
Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman Clients: Mälardalen University