“The project clearly demonstrates how the architecture for leisure invites the users in and creates a sense of ownership. This can be seen in the large interconnected leisure zone with its high degree of visual openness, connecting the school’s interior to the outside area”.Statement from the judges on how the architecture of leisure zone works as a driver for creating an active local community.
Learning and community architecture in the sch00l
The new school at Amager in Copenhagen is an open and inviting house, where every inch of the architecture offers spaces for learning. A central feature of the school is the leisure zone, which we have weaved into the fabric of the city by letting the school’s architecture melt with the surrounding area. The zone has multiple functions that invite by-passers to interact with the school. Towards the street, we have designed the building as community architecture with large staircases that function as both seating plateaus and workout space.
“There’s a flow and an unusual visual profit from the interior design of the school. The project shows great understanding of new ways of thinking learning spaces. This is shown especially on the ground floor where the playing zone and the open auditorium is located.” Description of how possibilities of movement and flexibility are integrated in the architecture of the school, from the judges feedback on the winning project.
A garden floating above the city
The outside stairs create a seamless transition between the urban cityscape and the school’s architecture. As the local users climb the stairs, an outside playscape opens up above the city’s noise and traffic. Here the local community can enjoy a break under full size trees while the kids have fun at the play sets and the climbing walls. When the time comes to go back down, the locals can either take the stairs or use the slide, which winds its way back to the ground.
A modern take on traditional community architecture
Apart from being a school organised to facilitate ideal learning situations, the school doubles as a centre for after school activities for adults and children alike. Thus, at the ground floor the school offers easy access to gym hall, workshops, maker spaces and an auditorium. Here, we have designed the architecture in a manner that facilitates a vibrant social environment for activities such as lectures, crafts, concerts and communal meetings.
A unifying staircase creates a vertical connection
To let in daylight, we have created an inner atrium with skylights and a large staircase for sitting. The staircase opens up the rest of the schools floors for the pupils. Moving up through the levels, the pupils will become more shielded from the outside world. By creating this vertical connection, we have organised the architecture so the youngest pupils have their daily lives farthest from the bustling streets, thus ensuring a safe learning environment.
How the project addresses the Sustainable Development Goals
In the project we have worked with issues related to the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the project was not designed to address the global goals. We have worked with issues related to: SDG 3: Good Health and well-being, SDG 4: Quality education, SDG 5: Gender equality, SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure, SDG 10: Reduced inequalities, SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production, SDG 13: Climate action and SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions.
- Municipality of Copenhagen
- 10.592 m²
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Kjaer & Richter architects, NCC, 1:1 Landscape, Lyngkilde Engineers, In_situ arkitekter maa
- Niels Nygaard