The secret power of pixels in C.F. Møller Architects' façade

COPENHAGEN – There is an influx of new architecture in the Danish capital right now, which prompted us to organize an architecture and design trip there in June. In the midst of the building rampage, European firm C. F. Møller – with six offices spanning the continent – inaugurated the city’s largest school last month. The 25,000-sq-m complex will host 1,200 students ranging from preschool to high school.

The massive volume creates a new landmark on the water’s edge of Copenhagen’s northern district of Nordhavn and the visual impact is extraordinary. At first glance, the building’s façade appears to be covered in a pixelated array of blue, teal and turquoise tiles which glimmer in the sunlight, attracting anyone who likes shiny objects. The cladding is far from a mere aesthetic fancy, however, as each element is actually a solar panel. According to the architect, the 12,000 individually-angled cells will supply ‘more than half of the school’s annual electricity consumption’, and is one of the largest building-integrated solar power plants in Denmark.

Founded in 1963, Copenhagen International School’s new building comprises four ‘towers’ ranging from five to seven storeys, each of which accommodates one of the students' age groups in their own dedicated section. The units are built on top of a grounding base which includes communal facilities such as the foyer, sports centre, canteen and library. It’s not all just about classrooms and homework, though. ‘The classrooms can be closed off outside normal school hours,’ the architect explains, ‘while the common areas remain open for evening events. Additionally, the promenade outside the school will become an urban portside space, providing opportunities for relaxation and various activities.’

Location Levantkaj 4–14, Copenhagen, Denmark

Join us this June for an exciting and inspirational trip to more architecture and design landmarks in Copenhagen. Over five days, Mark editor David Keuning will take you on an exclusive tour of over 30 projects – including behind-the-scenes access to buildings by world-renowned architects Bjarke Ingels Groups (BIG) and OMA, which are due for completion next year. Find out more and register by 17 April.

This article originally appeared on the Mark magazine website here.

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