Denmark's most recent university began life in modest premises in the northwest quarter of Copenhagen, but in 2004 the IT University (ITU) moved to newly built quarters in the north part of Ørestad.
If you find yourself wandering along the canal towards ITU, you will be confronted with a streamlined façade of glass and steel, which may have a slightly chilling effect. But if you proceed inside the building, you will immediately understand what it was that created such a stir about architect Henning Larsen's edifice. In fact, ITU fields so many enquiries that the university has set up a visitors' service to guide interested parties around the building on selected days.
Balconies and drawers
Between ITU's two main buildings there is an impressive inner courtyard.
The building's five storeys are open to the atrium, and from the balconies you can survey activities elsewhere in the building. Students greeting one another and waving across the large building are no rare sight, therefore. A number of rooms for meetings and groupwork have been extended out into the atrium, suspended like a long row of see-through 'drawers' that have been pulled out to different lengths.
On the balconies between the drawers, study booths have been created, ensuring that there is always activity when you look up from the great courtyard.
In keeping with the spirit of the place, the inner courtyard has been decorated with digital art. On the gables of a number of the "drawers," screens have been mounted that can display digital images and animations. At the opening of ITU in September 2004, the American artist John Maeda presented the first work on the screens. If things go to plan, the digital works of art are to be interactive and will be controllable from computers and mobile phones, or they will be dependent on traffic and temperature inside and outside the building.
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Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014