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Sågbäcksgymnasiet, Sweden

A school to be proud of

Rebuilding a school’s character with plenty of daylight

In 2012, local authorities ended more than 10 years of talks by adopting a plan to refurbish the old vocational school in Huddinge, Sweden. The school, which was originally built in 1961 as part of the south development plan of Stockholm, represented classic 1960’s architecture and was of good quality. Still, fifty years of wear and tear had left their mark.

When the refurbishment plans were finally agreed upon they included the replacement of more than 100 old skylights with 104 VELUX Modular Skylights in a northlight configuration. Today, Sågbäcksgymnasiet has re-emerged as a genuine 21st century vocational school, leaving the students – as well as the project’s drivers – with a distinctive sense of pride.

A brighter school. A brighter future.

Principal Hans Almgren describes the school as “a solid building in classic modernist style” and he is glad the refurbishment plan was able to maintain the look and feel of the original architecture. “They have managed to preserve something that is part of the school’s soul - the 1960s quality”, he says.
Almgren is especially pleased the way the new central area with its dominating sawtooth ceiling performs, reinventing the original aesthetics of the building and taking full advantage of the ceiling’s potential.
“The skylight was key to the positive change. The architects always strived to open the building up, let in light and create visual depth. We have no dead corners and no dark corners.”

Hans Almgren is well aware of the importance of creating a learning environment that is both inspiring and dignifying. A vocational school is always at risk of being regarded as a second-rate choice, he admits, and that is why the setting is so important.

“It is probably true that vocational training is not highly regarded, but we want to be the best in our sector. Our students are important and we want them to enjoy a nice and agreeable environment. This affects their confidence and their willingness to study.”

Activity increases in a bright and spacious environment

Inside the building, the change is significant. While the old brown wire glass of the previous skylights left the interior murky at best, the new flow of daylight has transformed the environment entirely, triggering a notable rise in student activity.

Schoolteacher Eva Källen has witnessed first-hand how the students have grown in their new environment. “A school with self-esteem gives students a sense of pride and identity. And now our students are proud”, she says.

Åsa Machado (left) and Leontina Barreto of Origo Arkitekter were put in charge of the project by the building owners, Huge Fastigheter AB.

"Through its overall concept, i.e. making sure all needs are attended to, VELUX has turned this into an opportunity. It is a solution that we are confident with and happy to recommend.

Leontina Barreto, Aarchitect

Students have responded positively to the abundance of natural light in the school

Facts about the project


The planning phase 

  • Planning began in 2011.
  • The installation started November 5, 2012 and was completed November 19, 2012.

Parties involved in the project 

  • The construction group included Origo Arkitekter, Temacus AB as contractor, HMP Entreprenad as installer and the building owners, Huges Fastigheter AB.
  • Leading the project was Åsa Machado and Leontina Barreto of Origo Arkitekter.
  • The installation was led by Harri Poulakka of HMP Entreprenad.

The solution

  • 4 rows of VELUX Modular Skylights in northlight configuration
  • 389 fixed modules of 900 mm x 1700 mm
  • 8 fixed modules of 597 mm x 1700 mm
  • 7 venting modules of 900 mm x 1700 mm
  • 62° roof pitch

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