Depopulation is one of the main problems facing rural areas in Denmark. Small communities can no longer rely on outdated structures and architecture to thrive, let alone survive. The goal of this project was to transform a community house in a rural town, giving people a public space and a gathering place fit for the 21st century.
The community house in question is Barrit Sognegård in the small town of Barrit on the Jutland peninsula of Denmark. Rather than being the beacon of public life in the town, it lies forgotten and hidden behind clutter next to the town's school and sports halls. The idea of the project is to open the building up and turn it into a covered public square for the town, which during the summer months can spread out to what is now parking lots, but could be a recreational area.
Today's social activities call for spaces fit for smaller, more diverse groups, meeting to do something they are passionate about. Rather than what the old community houses are built for - Gathering the whole town for the purpose of entertainment - a function which has largely been replaced by television, the internet and professional institutions in larger cities today.
By creating large new entrances, bringing in light and allowing people to flow freely through the building - a new interior landscape is created. The landscape consists of smaller gathering places, a public pin-up board for events going on, craft workshops, a small stage, and - critically - individual boxes for each group to work in and exhibit their passion - as a way to recruit new members and allow the town to have a feeling of the life that is going on. Something that is confined to people's living rooms today.