Copenhagen Gallery

Ørestad School

Ørestad School in Ørestad City will be a new elementary school for 750 pupils from pre-school through 9th grade.

A luxurious mountain village with hanging gardens, bay windows and small piazzas. KHR Arkitekter drew inspiration from the medieval Tuscan village of Barga when designing their version of the elementary school of the future in Ørestad City. There are no blackboards or old-fashioned schoolyards to be found here. Instead there is a multitude of recreation rooms which open into and close around terraces and passgeways, both indoors and outdoors. The design of the new school matches the pupil diversity as well as contemporary views on good educational practice - the old conservative school has been replaced by an open, flexible and differentiated school.

Challenging outdoor areas

The new school is situated on a relatively small site close to the new high school, Ørestad Gymnasium. The small acreage of the site and the subsequent difficulties of creating spacious outdoor areas for the pupils have attracted recurrent criticism and created a daunting challenge for the architects.

The architects tackled this problem by designing a large number of small outdoor spaces in the form of terraces on rooftops and communal courtyards along the canals and in the thicket towards the neighbouring quarter. The school will have a total of 16,000 sq.m. of outdoor spaces on or near the school grounds, while a nearby pocket park offers another 4,700 sq.m. for the pupils to romp about in.

Flexibility and multifunctionality

Differentiation is the keyword. As in the neighbouring high school, Ørestad Gymnasium, traditional classrooms have been abandoned in favour of a broad, multifunctional approach. The structure of the building has been designed to accommodate and to adapt to future changes. The layout of the school provides space for workshops, opportunities for group work, and time for concentration.

The Internet and the virtual reality of the digital age are not to be regarded as competitors distracting the attention of the pupils, but rather as motivators for learning. Information and communication technology is therefore of paramount importance. The school places particular emphasis on aesthetic learning processes and virtual media, which means that visual arts, drama, music, woodwork and material design are high-priority subjects.

Symbiotic neighbourliness

The school will house basic rooms, pre-school and after-school facilities, a club, first- and second-stage basic education, special-subject classrooms, staff rooms and administrative offices. Moreover, space has been set aside for a future public library. With the strong media profile of Ørestad Gymnasium, the City envisages fruitful cooperation between the two schools and the creation of a cultural beacon in Ørestad.

A further intention is for the school to engage in close cooperation with both public and private cultural and media institutions as a kind of "exploratorium" for the development of new educational tools.

A spearhead for sustainability

The school has been chosen to spearhead the City's effort against climate change, using materials that will ensure low energy consumption and a focus on sustainability initiatives such as recycling, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014