Skälby School and Preschool

  • area / size 33,852 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Location Stockholm, Sweden,
  • Max Arkitekter designed the Skälby School and Preschool with natural light and pops of color for early learners in Stockholm, Sweden.

    The new Skälby School and Preschool is a trefoil shaped building, set in souterrain. The building divides the outside space into three parts; a schoolyard, a smaller yard for the preschool and a fully accessible entrance and car park. The new school replaces a smaller school set at the site.

    The school derives its character and identity from a warm and inspiring colour scheme that is present on the exterior as well as the interior; the colours of the building’s gables and windows are also found in the colours of the interior. The learning environment is designed to be stimulating, permissive and promote collaboration through its organization of space and attention to details. Acoustic panels and colourful soundproofing boards are important elements in the interior while at the same time contributing to an excellent acoustic environment. Skylights and intimate windowsills, deep enough to offer seating, provide a light and spacious atmosphere. A generous number of windows and exits to the gables’ balconies provide visual contact with the surrounding greenery and the schoolyard’s vegetation continues up onto the sedum roof.

    Inside, the learning environments are gathered round the shared “heart”, reaching up through a double story height. Large, triangular sky lights flood the space with natural day light throughout the day. The layout enables functional, space-efficient premises eliminating corridors, and thus creating safe and populated spaces. The heart acts as a welcoming meeting place for children and adults. The tiers, at the ground floor, provide seating and turns the heart into a theatre for lectures or improvised acting. The public functions, such as the gymnasium and the canteen and kitchen, are located at the bottom floor, partially in souterrain, accessible to the surrounding neighbourhood.

    Ideas for the new school were developed through dialogues with groups from the school and preschool as well as with representatives from Sollentuna municipality. Initially the project focused on an addition to and refurbishment of the existing school, but soon it became clear that the old school did not respond to the educational needs. The design process then started with the future inhabitants in mind and the aspiration to create a school and preschool that is both welcoming and generous. The design aims to give the children a sense of belonging and inspire the teachers with an environment that provides support in their teaching process.

    The school’s learning environments are divided into entities for 60 students, consisting of smaller and larger learning spaces, tiers, cloakrooms and toilets. Through a variety of spaces within the learning environments the conditions are set to give each student a chance to find hers or his favourite place, but also opportunities for educators to vary their teaching and adapt it to each given situation. This makes the premises adaptable and possible to use in different ways whilst also promoting cooperation within the team of teachers and between different ages of students. Adaptability in the building is also created by the preschool layout being adjustable to fit a regular school organization.

    Skälby School and Preschool was inaugurated in August 2018 in Sollentuna, Sweden.

    Architect: Max Arkitekter
    Design Team: Lisa Bodén Malmström
    Photography: Mattias Hamrén