Copenhagen Gallery

Valby School And Culture Centre

Conversion of factory buildings to a school and a culture ans sports centre

As part of extensive urban regeneration of the old industrial estate in central Valby, a suburb of Copenhagen, three old buildings from the Norden Porcelain Factory have been converted into a school and a sports and culture centre. The buildings-Kiln Hall, Engine House and Testing Hall-have been connected with the help of extensions so that together they house a wealth of facilities for the diverse range of user groups from the local area.

One of the mainstay visions has been to create an interplay between school, cultural life and the immediate environment. A fair share of the premises, particularly in the Engine House, are used by the school during the daytime, but in the afternoon they become available for everything from pipe bands to local associations and theatre troupes.

Light, flexible school building

Valby School is based at Kiln Hall. On the outside, the industrial characteristics of the old factory hall have been retained, and Valby School is therefore entirely unreminiscent of the classic red-brick elementary school in Copenhagen. On the inside, the openings left by the old smokestacks have been widened to open up the middle of the deep building's floor partitions from floor to ceiling. At the same time, the roof ridge has had glazing inserted so that daylight can flood into the centre of the building.

Valby School was formerly housed in a street called Rughavevej where, in the words of the headmistress, Margrethe Fausing, you walked around 'with your ears neatly tucked in.' This is why she thinks the best thing about the new building is the ample space and the flexible room divisions, allowing walls to be slid back and forth, and a great deal of furniture and equipment to be moved from room to room.

Various size halls

At the Testing Hall a culture and sports centre has been fitted out with halls of various sizes. One hall is used by Valby School, in particular, and a number of local sports clubs. Another is used to practise tap and other kinds of dancing in smallish teams, and in the multi-purpose hall, for example, large-scale meetings and general assemblies can be held. In the Testing Hall, flexibility has also been a keyword, and on a number of occasions one hall has been used as a foyer, while in another theatre performances have been held. The actual stage is also versatile and its constituent parts can be arranged in a variety of ways.

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014