Landscape: NORD Architects
Engineer: EKJ Engineers
Total Contractor: BAM Danmark
Client: City of Copenhagen, Carlsberg Byen P/S
Text description provided by the architects. Tucked between Copenhagen’s historic Carlsberg buildings a new public school recently opened for around 900 students with an international background. Designed by NORD Architects and Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects the European School Copenhagen is a new international school that promotes modern learning landscapes whilst merging school and city together through open public spaces. The European School Copenhagen has a multicultural reach supported by the city of Copenhagen and distinguished Danish international companies. The international perspective of the school is embedded in the local district of Carlsberg City with several architectural landmarks and a long history of industrial brewery site.
International school in a historic and local environment
The historic surroundings set the outline of the new school between the existing building mass at Carlsberg. The site is an attractive neighborhood with outstanding and storytelling architecture founded in specific functions – and reflecting a fascination with decorative brickwork.
”The European School Copenhagen is integrated in the living history of industrial architecture and era characterized by entrepreneurship and challenging vision underpinned by science and education. The new school builds upon this tradition and cultural heritage - unfolded as a new interpretation in its own time", says Morten Gregersen, partner, and architect at NORD Architects who designed the school together with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects.
The two offices won the competition in 2015 in a team with the constructor BAM Denmark and EKJ Engineers.
”With respect to the historic surroundings, we have maximized school space and created an open, modern and vibrant learning environment – not only for the students. Everyone is welcome to use the school grounds. It was crucial for us to create a functioning school that simultaneously interacts with the area and this extraordinary historic site”, says Thomas West Jensen, partner, and architect at Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects.
Social interaction through learning stairs and spaces
The school's learning spaces are centered around two major learning stairs that run vertically through the five floors and unite all classes and age gaps. The learning stairs are multifunctional recreational spaces as well as teaching areas for larger or smaller groups of students. They also provide visual contact and coherence between the different zones and spaces across the classes, highlighting the canteen as a central and social gathering place.
The European School Copenhagen is integrated into Carlsberg City as part of a new urban landscape without bold borders between school and city. The sports hall is part of this intermediate zone which is connected to the roof landscape that rises in different levels with recreational spaces, activities, and playgrounds. The relation between the institution and the city becomes a ‘win win-situation’ where spaces, functions and square meters are shared, thus creating a socially sustainable utilization of valuable urban areas. The school is financed by the City of Copenhagen, Realdania, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, the Nordea Fund, and the Industry Fund.