How do you get children to play outside in a climate where it rains every third day on average? LINK Arkitektur is responsible for architecture and landscape architecture for a primary school in Torslanda, just outside Gothenburg. A school that will house about 600 children when completed, where the outdoor environment is central, and the rain is the project's primary resource.
LINK in Sweden and Norway are working together to develop the world's best school when it rains - a school where children can learn about the properties of water through play and adventures.
The school's design and landscape architecture pay homage to our Nordic environment. The design of the outdoor areas uses rainwater as a playful and pedagogical element in learning about climate, ecology, biological diversity, and the importance of water in nature's cycle. Children gain knowledge about climate change and how water changes over time and affects our environment.
The varying roof landscape and façade design contribute to the children navigating with ease throughout the area. The entrance area must feel welcoming with priority for pedestrians and cyclists. LINK has created a safe, playful, and educational school inspired by the water's natural cycle, power, and significance for all living things.
From the first drop of rain falling on the roof, the rainwater flows like a blue thread through the area. The schoolyard's main element is the «river» - a meandering river course in miniature that leads the surface water through the schoolyard and out into a delta-like and eventful natural area with «icebergs», wetlands, rich vegetation, and exciting terrain.
- We are proud to have been commissioned to create a state-of-the-art school with outstanding and creative solutions for open surface water management. The social dimension of the school is significant, and we work to ensure that the water is what entices the children out. The rainwater helps to connect the school's various outdoor areas in a playful, unpredictable, and challenging landscape. We will not look at the rain as a problem, but as a material we can use for play and activity, says landscape architect Erle Stenberg.
With the rain as a starting point and a creative approach, Gothenburg Municipality, together with LINK, has shown how water can be a resource that contributes to rich experiences and increased knowledge. Torslanda school will be an exciting meeting place with adventures for everyone.
"Torslandaskolan" is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2022.