Text description provided by the architects. The new city school in Frederikshavn, Denmark is a big school by Danish standards with 1,200 students between 1st and 9th grade and a large contingent of special attention classes. With its starlike shape all class rooms in the school can be placed at a facade with direct access to light and fresh air. At the same time the star shape gives an optimum background for natural ventilation and easy access to the playground. The school has two floors for the older students and one floor for the smallest children.
On top of the lower level we have placed a roof terrace with 750 m2 of solar panels making it possible for the school to reach low energy class 2020 according to the Danish building code (roughly equivalent to LEED gold). The central square of the school, that we call the heart has naturally been placed in the centre of the star. This is the meeting point of all zones - a learning space that is enhanced by a big sculptural stairway.
The square is the central shared space that can be accessed from all departments. It is the dynamo of the school where teaching, learning and social activities melt in an inspiring atmosphere. Each point of the star makes up a department for two grades - each with its own identity and furnishings, designed for exactly the age group it houses. In this way we manage to subdivide a very big school and to create a scale that appears natural, safe and inspiring for all.