Three women sitting at the new study places studying
Improved study places for the students at the School of Business, Economics and Law
Photo: Handelshögskolan

Recycling, design and function in new study places


Good study places that stimulate collaboration are an important part of the environment on campus. In the summer of 2021, the study places in the corridors at the School of Business, Economics and Law were rebuilt to better meet the students' needs. The result is more seats, recycled materials, better comfort and an inspiring environment that is appreciated by the students.

Portrait of Katja Hillström
Katja Hillström
Photo: Handelshögskolan

“The study places in the corridors of the School are popular for both study and socialising, but the old places were built in another era and did not cater to the needs of today’s students”, says Katja Hillström, architect at AIX and responsible for the new design.

A wink to the 90s

In the project, Katja Hillström and her colleagues have worked with some of the themes found in the current building, which was inaugurated in 1995. It is a fine example of 1990s architecture and has clear Danish influences. The building was designed by Erseus, Frenning and Sjögren Arkitekter AB and awarded the Kasper Salin Prize in 1995. Themes that inspired the design of the new study places are, for example, geometric shapes such as squares and circles.

”We also wanted to keep the existing color scheme, and supplemented with colours and materials to create a nice whole”, says Katja Hillström.

The study places have been turned 90 degrees compared to before. In addition to making space for more seats, it also means that daylight comes in from the side, and it creates contact with passersby in the corridor. The seat and backrest are upholstered for increased comfort, the table lighting is cozy and the tables are generous to provide space for group work.

The study places by the stairwells have also received new, more comfortable furniture and significantly improved lighting. In these places there are also writing boards to further stimulate and facilitate group work.

Three female students sitting at table studying
Photo: Handelshögskolan

Recycling of materials

Study places without students
The panel is recycled from the old study places.
Photo: Handelshögskolan

Sustainability is important for the School and the new study places have been made of materials that last a long time and age beautifully. Recycling materials is not always easy, but in this project, there was an opportunity that was seized. The backrest on the old study places has been reused, which in addition to the reduced environmental impact means that some of the original architect's design remains.

“The backrests were carefully dismantled and sent to a carpentry in Floda outside Gothenburg. They were sawn to fit into the new design, sanded and oiled”, says Ingemar Moen, Project Manager at the University of Gothenburg for the construction of the School's new building and also for the renovations that take place in the existing premises.

A male student looks into the camera
Eliaz likes the new study places
Photo: Handelshögskolan

Happy students

Despite the rebuild, there is a shortage of study places at the School. The new study places were quickly taken into use and are utilized for many hours per day. The students seem happy with the design.

“I like the aesthetics, it is better than before. The new study places are inspiring and really invite to group work”, says Eliaz who studies the Masters of Law Programme.

Also in the new building

The rebuild of the study places is the first of several that aims to adapt the School's existing premises to today's needs. Among the projects that may be implemented within a few years are measures that will contribute to increased quality in learning and study situations, office environments and in event contexts. The goal is  to have attractive, functional and efficiently used premises where students and employees thrive and want to be.

”Changes that we are making now will also be a test before the work with the interior of the School's new building, which will be ready in 2025. We can already see that the study places have turned out well and now we sketch to design the study environments in a similar way in the new building”, says Ingemar Moen.


TEXT: Maria Norrström

About the new study places

Number: 136 seats (previously 100)
Materials: Tables in white pigmented solid ash and veneered ash. Seats and backs with a core of cold foam and leather upholstery. Recycled panels with a mixture of darker wood details in solid oak and lighter wood details in solid birch / beech.
Wall luminaire: Specially made from Örsjö with cone-shaped screen and curved arm. Varnished in dark red to fit into the colourscheme of the study places.
Other: Integrated electrical outlets, clothes hooks, whiteboards.

Developer: Akademiska Hus