The creative factory

FlowFactory is situated at Haderslev harbour, and blends into the former industrial environment with its distinctive architecture and raw materials. The waterside location has been exploited to the full, and daylight floods into this new educational institution.

Troldtekt, FlowFactory
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The interior architectural solutions are also noteworthy, their design inspired by technical and industrial buildings. FlowFactory is part of the adult education centre VUC Syd in Haderslev in southern Jutland, and offers a two-year higher preparatory (HF) programme focusing on creative, digital solutions. The building is tightly organised around an atrium, primarily taken up by the elegant main staircase.

The ground floor houses Denmark’s only project-based HF programme, where the focus is on digital creativity and entrepreneurship, while VUC Syd’s e-learning centre is located on the first floor. The second floor houses a highly flexible work zone dedicated to innovative processes and cooperation between the educational sector and the business community.

The entire building is designed to facilitate flexible and modern real-life learning. From each level, there is access to a large patio or roof-top terrace. The school received the School Building of the Year Award 2017 for its physical facilities and environment, which supports learning and promotes flow and creativity in the students’ work.

Structure in the ceiling

FlowFactory stands out for its ingenious interior design. The educational environment is informal, with many different types of workplaces. Plank tables with high stools co-exist with upholstered wall sofas with permanently installed computers. Students can work in large or small groups – or on their own. Torben Sørensen, an architect and partner at ZENI Arkitekter, says that the acoustics had a high priority when designing the interior.

A particular feature is the design of the ceiling, which absorbs sound as well as providing a visual element introducing both structure and rhythm. Here, Troldtekt acoustic ceilings have been combined with Troldtekt baffles in the form of panels suspended from their sides at regular intervals.

The baffles were made on site based on a sandwich construction comprising a plywood sheet between two half Troldtekt panels. The additional Troldtekt panels, and the gaps which are created between the suspended baffles, greatly increase the sound absorption. The gaps are used to good effect for suspended lighting, ventilation and other elements that typically disturb the ceiling surface. The Troldtekt baffles are angled at the ends, adding further structure to the ceiling.