Sct. Nicolai Cultural CentreEdit profile
Nicolai Cultural Centre is the result of a competition in 2002 to convert an old, unused school complex into a new Cultural Centre for the City of Kolding. Each of the old school’s five buildings represents a different period of Danish school history from the original school building built in 1856 to the most recent, which opened in 1909. Two of the five are listed as cultural heritage sites. The competition was hosted by The City of Kolding and supported by the RealDania foundation, which was especially interested in the conversion and reuse of listed cultural buildings. Three main strategies for the conversion were conceived in close collaboration with the landscape architect: 1) Connecting the five buildings, each very different in material and volume, by using weathered steel consistently throughout the project for all new additions. Large vertical and horizontal weathered steel walls on the site connect the different building volumes and create a sense of unity. 2) Preserving the informal asphalt schoolyard as the site’s primary surface but adding spatially nuanced upgrades. 3) Keeping to a tight budget by using a collage-like strategy for all changes and renovations. Some spaces are left unmodified while others are dramatically altered. The Cultural Center consists of five different houses each with their own functional identity. 1. Cinema House and Café The Cinema House holds a non-profit art cinema with two cinema halls, a videotheque, a café and a restaurant. It also houses studios and offices for Kolding’s local TV station. 2. Heritage House The Heritage House holds Koldings’ local history archives as well as open study offices, a lecture hall, meeting spaces and administration 3. Children’s Culture House The Children’s Culture House is supported by the LOA foundation and has an open program where children’s activities such as drama, theatre, dance and movement can take place in different workshops. The building is designed to offer as much transparency and openness as possible within the old structural frame while simultaneously creating strange and unexpected paths, mysterious places and new views. The house is divided into three major spaces each characterized by the themes cave, forest and sky. It contains a small theatre with connected wardrobes, a double height space with ropes and a padded floor for dance and movement, and two permanent workshop spaces with mobile workshop furniture for storing supplies. 4. Arts House The Arts House holds studio spaces for rent to local professional artists. 5. Music House For the Music House, a new entry hall and courtyard allow the old gym to be repurposed as a concert hall.