— Frame Magazine —

South harbour school connects classrooms with Copenhagen's community

COPENHAGEN – JJW Architects conceives a school which activates its harbour-side plot and welcomes the community into the classroom. The school joins the ongoing development within the up-and-coming Sydhavnen quarter which includes residential blocks and offices. With a tiered internal programming, the education building doubles as a space for communal functions.

Public zones at its base gradually transition into private spaces at its highest floors.
The ground level and parts of the first floor as retained as areas for communal gathering. The design move to fuse the school yard with a public square invites the community into the educational realm. Taking the idea one step further, the architects of JJW are opening the doors of craft facilities and music rooms to local citizens, similar to the concept of a public library. A canteen can serve its food to students as well as the quarter’s residents.

The building’s circulation integrates the adjacent canal into the experience. A large staircase accesses the water and forms another meeting area. Beneath the stairway, a woodworking facility with access to the waterway makes it ideal for boat repairs which offer an educational opportunity. Atop the building, a habitable landscape turns the school’s roof into a playground and outdoor classroom on the waterfront. Mimicing the network of streets and houses which organize a city, the interior is a mishmash of wide-open and intimate spaces for diverse activities. Within house-shaped structures, lockers form informal meeting points for children while a wide-stepped stairway doubles as an assembly hall.

Project: New build – Pupil School
Location: Støberigade, 2450 Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Municipality of Copenhagen
Period: 2006–2015
Area: 9500 sqm
Architect: JJW Architects
Engineer: NIRAS
Landscape: JJW Landscape / PK3 Landskab
Sport consultants: Keinicke & Overgaard Arkitekter
Major Contractors: B. Nygaard Sørensen A/S / G.V.L. ENTREPRISE A/S / Lindpro  / Jakon A/S
Construction Management: Friis Andersen Arkitekts
Artistic Project: Peter Holst Henckel