Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

Kuben VET-Arena, Bjerke, Oslo, Norway

The objective of the project was to create a professional arena for trainees, students and employees to meet the demand for specialised labour and skills and to help more students make the right career choices.

The facility is composed of a Technical School, Apprenticeship Center for Building Trades, a 600m2 Technology Centre and a training centre. It has forged relationships with key partners in business and industry, including the oil and gas industry in the Oslo region. The Arena offers vocational training in car mechanics, construction, adolescence and health, hairdressing, and oil and gas industry. The Arena specialises in courses in innovation and technology for those who want a major in science and a career in engineering, science or technology.

Influenced by its location in one of Oslo's old industrial areas, the facade is clad in dark brick covered with black preweathered zinc , patinated bronze and glass facade systems with aluminium profiles. The tones of the selected materials will be affected by the weather. The three upper floors have double glass facades to reduce heat loss and noise. There is also extensive use of sound absorbers in the building's ceiling and wall surfaces.

Local artists also contributed to the design of the Arena, for example the texts integrated in the buildings’ windows, walls and mirrors; the large video installations that are integrated through a series of screens placed consecutively in the foyer walls; the mix of abstract images and photos from the school's architecture; the concrete plants in the form of circles and ellipses placed in the ground at the entrance and in the lawn of the school's rooftop; and mechanical work of art.

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About this database

The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the “Database of Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investment” on 29 September 2011. It seeks to inform the planning, design, construction, management and evaluation of educational spaces, combining resources for strategic investment in educational infrastructure, with exemplary school and university facilities from all over the world.

Drawing on the output of a joint CELE/European Investment Bank project on “Strategic Investment Planning for Educational Infrastructure” and more than 60 exemplary schools and universities featured in CELE’s flagship publication, “Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”, this database is a unique international resource for educators, designers, policymakers and researchers alike.

Users of the database are encouraged to add their own resource material, or submit new completed university or school projects for publication on the database. OECD and EIB welcome your input to our project!

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