Student Village by Lenschow & Pihlmann

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The Danish studio Lenschow & Pihlmann has recently completed the small urban community around a 17th century timber farm just outside of Central Aarhus, Denmark. The ‘student village’ consists of 56 single and double room apartments, equipped with shared common rooms and facilities. This design was based on the layout of the old farm, that comprises of a series of intimate spaces and streets.

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Lenschow & Pihlman has transformed the timber farm known ‘søgaard,’ which once served as the home for a family and their cattle, into which is now a student village that still reserves its original four-fold structure, along with seven new buildings and outdoor areas. The design of this small settlement makes a reference to the traditional Danish roadside villages, with a series of public spaces, that feature enclosed courtyards with paving stones, and streets that leads towards the forest.

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All the apartments of the ‘student village’ are designed in a manner to include an open façade that faces towards the surrounding landscape, and a more closed façade that faces the village streets. This ensures that the residents have ample and direct to the nature and have easy access to the common spaces. Furthermore, two large public areas are integrated to reinforce the sense of community within the settlement; a large common room that occupies the old barn, and the old courtyard, which is considered as the largest outdoor space in the village.

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Lenschow & Pihlman’s integrates the urban within the rural with their Student Village, just outside of Aarhus, Denmark

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The architects have a restoration approach that follows the principles on which the farm was originally built. The old barn’s former roof has been replaced, while the entire structure has been insulated, its timber restored, and new foundations established. The design was built using alu-zinc panels, along with a new roof that links to the old farm with the new buildings, as so does the attic in the old bard with its visible pinewood structure and new plasterboards. Initially constructed as modern modular homes, the new structures follow the same principles as the renovation, which uses a material palette that is at harmony with the existing structure. In both the old structure and in new additions, the ceilings and lofts are made from pine plywood, while the floors are cast in concrete.

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