The Heart in Ikast: A New Meeting Point

C.F. Møller

Architects: C.F. Møller Architects
Location: Vestergade, Ikast, Denmark
Area: 3,660 m² building, 3.7 ha. activities park
Year: 2015-2018
Photography: Adam Mørk

C.F. Møller Architects is behind a major project next to the International School Ikast-Brande with a much-awaited expansion with several halls, multi-functional and educational facilities. The project makes the educational facilities at the school even better and at the same time creates a new meeting point centred on a fast-growing in Ikast.

’Hjertet’ (the Heart), as the project is called, includes a multi-purpose building, as well as an activity park, to create a new relation to the neighbouring Business College HHX Ikast, Ikast Brande upper secondary school, the teacher training college, and the International School Ikast-Brande, which was also designed by C.F. Møller.

The Heart combines education, activities, community, exercise and recreational pursuits in new ways. The international pupils will thus be a natural part of a very wide-ranging group of users, including sportsmen and women, musicians, skaters and users in a social psychiatry project. Overall, 35 user groups were involved in the development of the building and park.

“The aim of the Heart is to combine many different facilities and parallel activities, and to use all of the rooms, all the time, all day long, so that the building is always used actively from early morning to late evening – expressed in an architecture that resembles a small town, with varying roof heights and a square which gathers, leads and distributes the users,” says Julian Weyer, architect and partner at C.F. Møller Architects.

Building with room for everyone

The Heart covers 3,660 m² in total and features a central square with a performance stage. The square distributes users out to the various rooms in the multi-building. One wing holds the school’s teaching rooms, which in the afternoons and evenings can be changed to multi-rooms and art workshops for associations and evening schools. For young people and younger sports enthusiasts, the street sports hall is particularly interesting, as it is designed to retain a sense of being outdoors. There is also a café with a service kitchen, and a shop area where organic groceries from a local socio-economic initiative can be sold as well as handicrafts by blind producers.

 

On the first floor of the multi-building there are various rooms of different sizes for relaxed movement activities such as dance and yoga, as well as cultural events and performances, and counselling services for young people in the municipal Youth and Education Advisory Centre.

 

The surrounding activities landscape is designed around sustainable drainage principles and includes very active pursuits such as a skate bowl and flowskate park, a bicycle pump track, parkour facilities and playgrounds, beach volleyball pits and a multi-use playing field, as well as more quiet and shared activities such as spots for petanque, picnics and campfires.

 

For every walk of life

The Heart is a very open and accessible building, which also draws attention through its use of many small, informal venues and seating areas, to reinforce the multi-building’s capacity as a social gathering point that is not just a place to spend active leisure time.

In its essence, the project is a showcase in how broadly different groups of leisure facility users can be combined.

The Heart will give a great boost to leisure time activities, local socioeconomics and teaching opportunities for the school. This also creates a strong contact between the many different users: for instance, young people can obtain advice on important life choices while pursuing active and social lives. In this way, the Heart connects every walk of life to make it easier for individuals to take the next step.

A number of local and national collaboration partners have joined the field to ensure the project in Ikast-Brande municipality comes to fruition, including local businesses such as Bestseller, and major Danish foundations like Realdania and the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities. The Carlsberg Foundation has contributed artwork for both the building and the site.