VUC Haderslev

Haderslev, Denmark, 2016

Working Creatively in Denmark: the FlowFactory at VUC Haderslev University

The banc flexible lounge system, designed by Brunner, the contract furniture manufacturer, creates innovative co-working spaces for students.

The functionality and aesthetics of the banc series perfectly underlines the concept of open, flowing rooms of the Flow Factory.

Kai Oestergaard-Jensen, architect ZENI arkitekter, Aabenraa

The FlowFactory, one of the educational buildings at the University of Haderslev in Denmark, is a specialist centre for digital technologies and future-oriented activities. This is where innovative projects are thought up and developed for partner companies.

The FlowFactory was designed and constructed by ZENI arkitekter, a Danish architectural practice, which amongst other projects designed the Danish pavilion at the Venice Biennale art exhibition in 2016. In 2015, ZENI arkitekter received a German Design Award for designing another teaching building at the University of Haderslev, this time working together with the Aart A/S and COWI architectural practices.

Covering 1,700 m², the FlowFactory has a 360-degree view of the harbour. Its exterior facades, constructed with specially aged, rust-red Corten steel, evoke memories of a ship's stern, while the sharply defined edges give the impressive structure a contemporary look and a stunning visual impact in its harbour setting. Stepped glass panels bring light into the open-plan interiors, breaking up the clean lines of the structure and creating vibrant internal spaces where thoughts, ideas and inspiration can be exchanged in a creative atmosphere. The absence of restrictive interior walls is also expressed in the name of this educational establishment, where the rooms merge into one another, in a design reminiscent of old industrial buildings.

One of these airy, open spaces has been fitted with Brunner's banc lounge system. This system creates a modern working space whose elegant formal language and modular design create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere in which students can exchange ideas. The bright green tones of the banc system also bring a fresh, modern touch to the room.

Inspired by an individual project requirement, Brunner worked together with Stuttgart designers jehs+laub, and in close cooperation with the architect Heinrich Degelo, to create the banc flexible seating solution: the creative vision for the University of Freiburg's new library building specified furniture which would underscore the spacious, open design of the structure and, at the same time, reflect the unique material aspects of the architecture. Taking this as the starting point, Brunner and its partners worked together to develop the banc system, which now extends and complements the Brunner product portfolio with a new category: modular lounge furniture systems.

By combining individual elements, shapes and colours, you can use this extremely flexible, modular system to bring a unique feel to every space in which it is installed. Extra elements can be added to the banc system at any time, to suit changing demands and interior designs. The seat elements with backs are available in three different heights. The interior of the elements consists of a steel frame with belt upholstery, all encased in solid moulded foam, ensuring many years of exceptional seating comfort, even with heavy use.

"Time and time again, we have succeeded in developing unique solutions and new products in response to specific requirements, or a particular project. By working closely with our customers at every stage, we can create tailor-made products which we refine and rework until they are absolutely perfect. This expertise and attention to detail is our business's core strength. And these individual, custom solutions very often also result in successful new product ranges. One highly specialised creation can be the genesis of the ideal solution for a wide range of different application areas", stated Philip Brunner, describing the process involved in creating new products.

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