The architecture of De Gamles By School gives back to a historical area in Copenhagen. We designed the city school with a focus on circular construction and supporting a creative learning environment as well as community between neighbours. After school, the building opens up to local associations, interested citizens and elderly from the district's care centres.
De Gamles By is a unique neighbourhood in Copenhagen that is rich in history and architecture. The area’s name translates to Old People’s Town, referencing the many elderly residents in the area. A common feature of the neighbourhood are red tiled buildings and a close connection to small, green gardens. In our design, we have reinterpreted the area’s old buildings so that the learning environment becomes an organic but distinct part of the neighbourhood. The red tiles in the school’s façade have fine details and a contemporary approach that marks De Gamles By School as a modern and attractive learning environment. The house has a simple design where recycling of materials is naturally incorporated, but the building’s expression is also full of enticing rhythm and shifts.
A vibrant neighbourhood
The school is in the heart of De Gamles By. It is the setting for local children’s schooling as well as a social hub for the entire district. Here, there is potential for a vibrant association life and community between neighbours. The building contains everything from sports hall to food school, common areas and spaces that residents can rent for events. The face of the school is open and dynamic with large windows and clashes between materials. The interesting façade invites curious passers-by closer, just as green gardens with benches around the school allow neighbours to stay and enjoy the vibrant new urban space. The new social street environment allows for quick meetings and opens up the residential district. Like the neighbourhood’s existing gardens, the new school garden can be used and cared for by residents, thus serving the entire community.
Inside the school, natural daylight flows in from skylights and windows in the façade. To ensure openness in the house, there is transparency up through several levels of the building and between some of the rooms. We have consistently used warm materials and colours such as wood and yellow bricks, creating a pleasant atmosphere. The school is well-balanced between quiet, intimate learning environments and green gardens, where children can go and be active in nature.
Sustainable ambitions in the learning environment
In the project, there are high ambitions for sustainability and circular principles. The project is certified for DGNB Gold and the design is flexible so that the school can meet future needs and remain functional throughout its lifetime. Because the area is of great importance to many Copenhagen citizens, we have been in close dialogue with neighbours, the local council and the senior citizens’ council.
We have selected the building’s materials with a focus on creating a robust school with a long lifespan that is easy to maintain. We have recycled yellow and red bricks from three of the district’s demolished buildings. Besides from saving materials, the recycled bricks contribute to bringing the historic buildings into the future of De Gamles By. All new materials are selected based on their good environmental profile or because they are produced close to the school, thus saving transport. In the design, we have also created a strategy to optimize energy, indoor climate, and daylight.
- Copenhagen Municipality
- 11.000 m2
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Kjaer & Richter, 1:1 Landskab, Søren Jensen Rådgivende Ingeniører, Teknologisk Institut
- EDiT - architectural visualization studio
- BUF, KFF, local associations