Copenhagen Gallery

Zahles Gymnasium

Addition to N. Zahles Gymnasieskole.

N. Zahles Gymnasieskole, established more than 150 years by Natalie Zahle, has since 1877 been centrally located by Nørreport Station in a classic building in Nørre Voldgade.

For the school to continue to retain and develop the innovative learning environment, it was decided in 2009 by the N. Zahles school board that the old school building was to be modernised. As the central location in one of the busiest streets in Copenhagen made it impossible for the school to extend its site, the 135 year old building would instead get a modern lift upwards.

The classic building has been extended by two new storeys that unify classic and modern aesthetics in architectural innovation.

An innovative learning environment

The purpose of the two new storeys is to create the physical framework that makes it possible to integrate modern teaching methods in the everyday learning environment - with special focus on more IT in teaching. The addition contains new teaching rooms and an adjacent study centre, new cafeteria as well as a shared rooftop terrace with a clear view of the roofs of Copenhagen.

The two new storeys are built in glass and steel, a large glass roof is suspended across the existing courtyard and the surrounding buildings in order to link the school functionally and architecturally.

Walkways and platforms span the length and breadth of the courtyard and thus create new possibilities to hang out and make the indoor traffic of the building easier. Furthermore, the glass roof reduces the overall energy consumption of the building significantly as heating loss from the original classic buildings is reduced considerably.

The integration of the addition into the urban space

The location between Nørreport and HC. Ørstedsparken has meant that both the Nørre Voldgade aesthetics and the organic shape of the park had to be included in the integration of the two new storeys into the urban space.

The result is a front consisting of sections of glass with an internal filigree structure inspired by and integrates the addition with the surroundings between the two large trees in the surrounding parks and along Nørre Voldgade.

When sunlight hits the front, the filigree structure is reflected on the surfaces of the indoor rooms
that thus are also decorated with a net of shadows.

The addition and the preservation-worthy main building become a natural extension of the row of
houses between HC. Ørstedsparken and the botanical garden. The external filigree front is colour-coded with the slate roofs of the neighbouring buildings and thus finishes the main building towards the sky and become a natural part of the roofs of the block.

Friday, June 01, 2012 / By Julie Nørgård Christensen

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014