Renovated space for students on campus

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The cottages in BZ. Copyright: Stefan ZimmermanKarolinska Institutet's Future Learning Environments project is designed to improve and upgrade the areas on campus where students congregate to socialise or study. The first learning environment that received a facelift was Berzelius väg 3 on the Solna Campus.

A social arena devoted to students

The renovation of the spaces between the lecture halls at Berzelius väg 3 (popularly known as BZ) began at the end of December 2011, and was officially opened for students and staff in February 24th. The once dark and uninviting BZ interior has been radically refreshed with white walls and ceilings, new lighting, biowalls, information screens and flexible furnishing upholstered in bright, colourful patterns. Students now have a dedicated meeting place for socialising, group work and self-study.

Architect-designed interior concept

Architect firm Tengbom won the contract to implement its design concept, which is based on a design manual published by White's. The concept is called Home away from Home and is intended to create a more vibrant, homely environment for students.

"Our idea was to create a second home for the students and an obvious focal point for them to meet and exchange ideas and learn from each other; we want the students to feel at home here," says Tengbom architect Eva Falk.

There's no place like campus!

The parlour in BZAxel Dahlstedt, dentistry student at Karolinska Institutet, has been involved in the process of producing an interior design concept for the Future Learning Environments project.

"A pleasant environment is important. When you're not at lectures, these are the places where you sit," he says. "What we wanted was for the student spaces on campus to be like a home from home. After all, we spend so much time here that it is actually like a second home for us."

Functional and flexible

The new BZ interior consists of a collection of elements reflecting the various rooms found in the home. For example, the biowall represents the garden and the furniture in the corridor creates the mood of a living room, a sitting room and a lobby area. The furniture is practical and versatile, and students can create small, private spaces by rearranging modules. For example, a sofa can be rearranged into a lounge suite or turned into a table, depending on needs. At the same time, all spaces are integrated by the common aims of the users: to socialise, study and learn from each other.

It's not just the students who benefit but the entire university

"It's great that so much effort is being put into the student environments," says Axel. "It's not just the students who benefit but the entire university. It's a big investment in the KI brand, which is especially important for attracting international students."

Campus Huddinge next

The renovation of BZ is a pilot project in the major learning environment project being jointly run by Karolinska Institutet and the Stockholm County Council. Similar projects will be carried out on the Huddinge Campus, at the Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, Stockholm South General and Danderyd hospital.

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