Innovation That Matters

The curved, green roof will extend to the ground and merge into the terrain, forming a walkable surface | Photo source Henning Larsen

Danish school offers flexible and sustainable space

Architecture & Design

The New School, currently under construction, has been designed for flexible use and the highest standards of sustainability

Spotted: One thing that has become clear since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic is the need for spaces to be more flexible in how they are organised. This includes creating space that can be opened up to the outside or reconfigured to make more room. Danish architecture studio Henning Larsen has now broken ground on what will be not only an extremely flexible design, but the first school in Denmark to earn a Nordic Ecolabel – the official sustainability certificate for the region.

The New School, a primary school in Sundby, will be two storeys high and will form a c-shaped structure that blends in with the surrounding landscape. Many of its interior spaces will open up to the outside, to allow the students easy access to the surrounding landscape. The interior spaces will also be easy to change, reorganise or move around.

Its curved, green roof will extend to the ground and merge into the terrain, forming a walkable surface. Additional functions, such as a library, café, sports activity centre and music school will also be incorporated, turning the building into a community centre after school hours. To comply with the Ecolabel designation, the school will also take into consideration a number of sustainability factors such as low emissions, energy consumption, waste, ventilation, light, noise, and chemical exposure.

Eva Ravnborg, a partner at Henning Larsen explained that the designers, “decided early in the creative process that the new school had to be one with the landscape and that the field we work in is between learning and landscape. It is not just about the learning that takes place in the building, but the entire route to and from the school, and the way the school connects to the local community.”

There has been a new urgency to the drive for building healthier environments, particularly schools and community spaces. At Springwise, we have seen this emerge with recent innovations such as a pandemic-proof school with flexible spaces that can be opened to the outside and a school designed to nurture vulnerable people.

Written By: Lisa Magloff

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