Torna-Hällestad 1:3.5. Greenhouse for public school playground. H 2,7 / 2,5 m, w 11,5 m d 3,2 m. North elevation

Public commission for Torna-Hällestad school, Municipality of Lund, Sweden, 2008



Torna-Hällestad School was built in or around 1900, during an expansive period in Swedish history. A decline in rural birth rates during the 1960s and 70s was followed by a resurgence of nativity. Larger facilities were now needed, and in 2006 and 2007 the Municipality had the school renovated and enlarged. Walls were removed inside the old building and the rooms allotted new uses. An extension, invisible from the village street, was constructed behind the old building, to which it is linked by a passage, rather resembling a lock gate, in the middle of the volume.


Torna-Hällestad 1:3.5, emanated from this transformation.


I reduced the intended volume of the school building by a ratio of 1 to 3½. An incision along the roof ridge of the central aisle formed a completely level, vertical wall surface. This volume, in the form of a greenhouse, was positioned in the southern part of the school plot.


The purpose of the greenhouse, in addition to enhancing both teaching and play, was to intertwine the transformation of the school – new content in an old shell – with the design of the greenhouse.  


Technical data:

Toughened glass and aluminium, brick wall on a precast footing. Temperature-controlled ventilation and manually operated shade curtains. Water and electricity supply connected.


The greenhouse occupies a total of 27 m2, external measurements 11.5 x 3.2 metres. Indoor headroom 2.7 / 2.5 m.

West elevation