The Heart in Ikast
The Heart in Ikast is a new meeting point centred on culture and communication. The Heart combines education, activities, community, exercise and recreational pursuits in new ways in a purpose built site, made up of several halls, multi-functional and educational facilities, alongside an activity park.
C.F Møller Architects were behind the project which is located next to the neighbouring Business College, HXH Ikast, Ikast Brande upper secondary school, the teacher training college and the International School Ikast-Brande, which was also designed by C.F Møller.
At The Heart, international pupils will be a natural part of a wide-ranging group of users, including sportsmen and women, musicians, skaters and users in a social psychiatry project – overall 35 user groups were involved in the development of the building and park.
“The aim of the heart was to combine many different facilities and parallel activities and to use all of the rooms, all of the time, all day long, so that the building is used actively from early morning to late evening. This has been expressed in an architecture that resembles a small town, with varying roof heights and a square which gathers leads and distributes the users,” said Julian Weyer, architect and partner at C.F Møller Architects.
The Heart covers 3,660m² in total and features a central square with a performance stage. The square distributes users out to the various rooms in the multi-building. One wing holds the school’s teaching rooms, which in the afternoons and evenings can be changed to multi-rooms and art workshops for associations and evening schools. For young people and younger sports enthusiasts, the street sports hall is particularly interesting as it is designed to retain a sense of being outdoors. There is also a café with a service kitchen and a shop area where organic groceries from a local socio-economic initiative, as well as handicraft by blind producers can be sold.
On the first floor of the multi-building there are various large and small rooms for relaxed movement activities such as dance and yoga, as well as cultural events and performance culture and counselling services for young people in the municipal Youth and Education Advisory Centre.
The surrounding activities landscape is designed around sustainable drainage principles and includes very active pursuits such as a skate bowl and flow Skate Park, a cycle pump-track, parkour facilities and playgrounds, beach volley pits and multi-use playing field; as well as more quiet shared activities space such as pétanque, picnics and campfires.
The Heart is a very open and accessible building, which also draws attention through its use of many small informal venues and seating areas to reinforce the multi-building’s capacity as a social gathering point that is not just a place to spend active leisure time. In its essence, the project is a showcase in how broadly different user groups of leisure facilities can be combined.
The Heart will give a great boost to leisure time activities, local socioeconomics and teaching opportunities for the school. This also creates a strong connection between the many different users where young people for instance can obtain advice on important life choices to pursue activities and social lives. In this way The Heart connects every walk of life to make it easier to make the next step for each individual.
A number of local and national collaboration partners joined the field to ensure that the project in the Ikast-Brande Municipality came to fruition, including local businesses such as Bestseller, major Danish foundations Realdania and the Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities. The Carlsberg Foundation has also contributed integrated artworks for both the building and the site.