Bråtejordet Secondary School

Bråtejordet Secondary School

Bråtejordet Secondary School in the Norwegian town of Strømmen is the first building in a newly planned neighbourhood. Designed to Europe’s most rigorous energy efficiency standards, the school rethinks traditional classroom and amenity layouts that let pupils study, exercise, create and reflect in a calm, yet uplifting setting.

Inspiring learning environments

To meet the demands of a growing school-age population, the local authority ran an open competition for a new school in an area earmarked for future residential development. Spatial thresholds serve as natural boundaries between school and community, as well as between different parts of the school. These clear structures form dedicated, distraction-free spaces that allow pupils to work in peaceful learning environments, specifically designed to improve concentration.

Client: Skedsmo Municipality
Location: Strømmen, Norway
Completed 2014
Ivan Brodey
Awards: Skedsmo Municipality architecture and urban development prize 2018

Spatial innovation that supports academic achievement.

One hundred-year outlook

Norway enforces the strictest mandatory building regulations in Europe, so it was no surprise that Skedsmo Municipality took a hundred-year perspective for Bråtejordet in terms of sustainability. Owing to the compact building structure, material choices and energy system, the school’s energy use is calculated at 79 kWh/m2, equivalent to Norwegian Energy Class A. All materials used are durable and selected to age beautifully, with minimal upkeep.

Students and teachers navigate through the school through four spaces that decrease in size: Tunet – the yard, Platået – the plateau, Boksen – the box, and Rommet – the room.

Tunet is the expansive welcoming schoolyard that greets students on arrival. This space is divided into landscaped ‘fields’ that allude to the surrounding landscape, with multi-use games areas placed closer to the building.

Platået functions as the school’s public reception area. Placed at just over a metre above street level, Platået offers far-reaching views of the landscape from inside. The glazed curtain walling of this floor reveals the activities within. These include design & technology workshops, music studios, library and administration block, all gathered around a central hub that triples use as an assembly hall, canteen and foyer.

Boksen houses the middle school year groups on the second floor of the building. Each group has their own home room and amenities, such as bathrooms, student lockers and breakout rooms for students and teachers. Views are framed and the teaching spaces are less open than Platået, enhancing the concentration needed for a more formal curriculum. Each home room also has its own staircase to the ground floor central hub, streamlining circulation.

Finally, students arrive at Rommet; their homeroom. Classrooms that are attached to each Rommet take northerly aspects that face away from the schoolyard, minimising distractions from outside.

The building’s volume is shaped at an angle that embraces the schoolyard in the south, providing elevated views across the townscape.

The strong silhouette of the folded roofs recall Strømmen’s industrial and agricultural heritage, as well as allowing generous floor-to-ceiling spaces for learning; very different from the traditional classroom. Light hues emphasise the ample spaces inside. Platået’s terrazzo flooring and glazing creates a soft transition to the pale concrete surfaces of Tunet, and the interior concrete walls that were cast in-situ. Sedum planted on the roof delay surface water drainage, while skylights draw light into the central hub. Corrugated, pre-patinated copper clads the exterior; an almost living material known to weather beautifully with time.

Contact & Team

Thomas Landenberg

Thomas Landenberg


+46 703 64 86 57

Karin Sjödin

Landscape Architect

Daniel Hultman

Karin Jakobsson

Christian Wahlström

Jeroen Matthijssen

Ella Bergström

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