ReVærk Arkitektur promotes nature and learning at Danish countryside school

‘House of Nature' by ReVærk Arkitektur is designed to promote forests and outdoor learning at a Danish countryside school

House of Nature by Revaerk Arkitektur as seen from afar within green nature
(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Designed by ReVærk Arkitektur in order to promote nature and learning about outdoor life, this sustainable architecture project is part of the Silkeborg folk high school in the Danish countryside. House of Nature, as the project is called, was conceived as both a venue and a medium to teach environmental values. It is suitably located between open fields and a forest, and is entirely made out of wood

The aim was to create a structure that is fit for purpose within an education setting, but also uses a material that minimises the ‘life cycle carbon footprint of the building', explain the architects. As a result, the team used timber for everything – from interiors to exteriors, as well as insulation and construction. They even used screw pile foundation techniques in order to eliminate the need for concrete on site. This way the project can leave the natural site untouched if ever it needs to be dismantled.

Exterior detail with round window at House of Nature by ReVaerk Arkitektur

(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Designed as a composition of four volumes, interconnected internally but visually distinct, to provide different classrooms and facilities, House of Nature fans out in plan. The arrangement can be accessed by a purpose-built decked footpath over the fields. This approach breaks down the overall volume, and so, in combination with the building’s timber skin, helps it blend effortlessly with its wooded surroundings. 

The structure's distinct cladding – made of shingles of acacia wood framed by an exoskeleton of oak – defines the House of Nature's identity and will allow it to weather beautifully over time. Meanwhile, inside, the visible Douglas fir construction and Douglas plank cladding ensure users remain connected to the trees throughout. At the same time, the forest and surrounding park are framed by large openings. A slim, steel staircase connects the interior's two levels. 

Every little detail was carefully considered to fit the overall theme and character of the building, as the architects explain: ‘Light fixtures as well as switches and power plugs are all handpicked to complement the rustic nature of the building and to contrast with the soft colours of the wood.' Nature and learning come together seamlessly in this powerful Danish design.

House of Nature by Revaerk Arkitektur, approaching from the timber decked footpath

(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Intricate wood facade at House of Nature by Revaerk Arkitektur

(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Inside, looking out through round window at House of Nature by Revaerk Arkitektur

(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Timber interior at House of Nature by ReVaerk Arkitektur

(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Main workspaces looking out into nature at House of Nature by Revaerk Arkitektur

(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Timber interior with main staircase at House of Nature by Revaerk Arkitektur

(Image credit: Anders Rajendiram and Martin Gravgaard)

Minimalist Desert Palisades house

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher)

INFORMATION

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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).