19. April 2018

In collaboration with GHB Landskabsarkitekter and COWI as the turnkey contractor, Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects is designing the new LIFE learning centre in Lyngby for the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has initiated a large-scale national plan to increase the interest in scientific subjects among children and young people. The name of the initiative is LIFE. LIFE is a term, which not only encapsulates the academic focus of the initiative (living nature, natural science, and its application) but is also an acronym for the ambition: Learning, Inspiration, Fascination, and Engagement.

The initiative will be supported by three platforms, which include mobile laboratories set up in specially constructed trucks, which will drive out to the country’s schools where pupils can conduct a variety of scientific experiments. There will be a digital platform with teaching packages accessible to all schoolchildren and teachers in the country. The third platform will be an educational centre in Lyngby, housing facilities for the development of educational material and teaching packages. The building will also be equipped with teaching laboratories and serve as a visitor centre for school classes.

The concept of the building features a high degree of integration between the building and the landscape. The actual building structure is based on a simple geometric design with a straightforward, subdued expression in terms of materials. The landscape and activities in the landscape will be closely linked to the building. At certain spots, nature will be drawn right into the façade, while other spots will be more like recreational spaces.

We expect the building to be designed with a simple choice of materials and a relatively simple enclosure, constructed of vertical columns, which at the entrance will fan inwards to create a portal.

The design strategy is based on the ‘STEM’ concepts (Science / Technology / Engineering / Mathematics) and the façade enclosure is inspired by DNA strands, Fibonacci structures, and other mathematical patterns, also underpinning the desire for a high level of integration between the building and the surrounding countryside.

The learning centre will be established on a site at Dyrehavegårds Jorder, east of Technical University Of Denmark (DTU) and the Elsinore motorway.

The building is expected to total 4,000m2 and feature facilities for staff, teaching laboratories for visiting schoolchildren and an auditorium.