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Contest held for £21m Norwegian rural primary school

Valer, Norway
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The Norwegian Architects Association has launched an international competition for a £21 million timber primary school and activity centre in Våler, a remote settlement in the south-east of Norway

The project is to be built next to an existing secondary school. Proposals must harness timber construction and also include a vision to deliver new town-centre housing.

The competition, which is open to all architects, comes six years after a contest to replace Våler’s historic timber church, which burnt down in 2009. The call for entries broke a national record with 239 submissions, and the winning scheme by Oslo-based architect Espen Surnevik completed in March last year.

According to the brief for the new competition: ‘The construction of a school and activity centre is … an important means for increasing the desire to move and live in the area.

‘The project also focuses on the development of the town centre and housing. The proposed solutions shall strengthen the possibility of condensing the town centre, opening up and connecting with the River Glomma, both architecturally and through the use and design of the outside areas.’

Våler is close to the Swedish border, overlooking the River Glomma. It has around 3,700 inhabitants spread across 11 hamlets. Around 90 per cent of the municipality’s 700km² territory is forested, making timber the preferred material for the new facilities.

The existing secondary school was built in 2009 and has around 140 students. The new primary school will be expected to accommodate a total of 260 pupils. The integrated two-school complex will cover the first 10 years of education for up to 400 children.

The competition languages are Norwegian, Danish and Swedish, and at least three architects will feature on the jury. The winning team will receive the design contract, while a prize fund of around £105,000 will be shared between the top entries.

The deadline for submissions is 3pm local time, 3 April.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Gisle Nataas
Norske Arkitekters Landsforbund
844 146 302
Josefinesgate 34

Email: gna@arkitektur.no

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