Synergy between education, research and commercial activities inspired the choreography of life in the Science Park South and Concert Hall complex at the Southern Danish University.
Because of the small scale of Sønderborg, 3XN Architects decided to divide the large complex into a series of buildings with short gabled ends with alternating atrium buildings.
This concept provides transparency and daylight and corresponds in scale with the neighboring harbor typology.
The concept of the Southern Danish University’s Science Park South & Concert Hall also made it possible to follow the bending coastline, adhering to the level change on the site parallel to the coast. The university’s tube-like buildings protrude above a parterre floor mainly fitted with common facilities like a library, a canteen, and a students’ club, opening up to the public on the harbor promenade.
Most offices, laboratories, and workplaces have an unobstructed view of the water.
All common facilities are situated at the parterre level, making it necessary for students as well as scientists to “step down” to the restaurant, library, and other shared facilities.
The atrium buildings, not included in the competition brief, were designed by moving the glass wall forward adding tall, light-filled spaces to the traditional comb structure.
Because of the adjacent railway station, the acoustics were a major concern, but 3XN’s “box-in-box” approach solved this problem while adhering to the overall concept.
Security is established as a horizontal division, with an ascent to higher levels requiring key cards. This way the building can be open in the evenings, integrating the concert hall as part of the overall building concept.