Denmark’s oldest school has just undergone a transformation with a new wing that offers a contemporary, bright, and lively education environment while taking a nod to the historic neighborhood. C. F. Møller Architect’s addition is a new direction for the aged neighborhood. The school reflects the Danish desire for low-impact building by incorporating simple but effective elements to whittle the project's energy consumption down while improving its indoor environment.
Sølvgade School, built in 1847 near the historic naval barracks in Nyboder, Copenhagen was in need of an overhaul. C. F. Møller Architects started with a major renovation of the historic building and then added a new wing, essentially doubling the school’s size to 4500 square meters.
Not content on trying to just blend in with the neighbors, the new wing offers a colorful face while maintaining the surrounding profile of the neighborhood. The deeply set south-facing windows provide much-needed interior daylight and heat gain. A second curtain of windows set on the outer face of the building improves winter performance and reduces traffic noise.
In the summer, light is indirect to reduce the need for cooling. The addition is also cooled and ventilated naturally by the stack effect — warmer, buoyant, stale air is released through the top of the six-story building and fresh, filtered, and conditioned air is let in through the back of the bottom level. These simple but effective energy-efficiency measures reduce the school’s energy load to a respectable 64 kWhrs per square meter per year.
Inside, “the floor plan layout twists and angles, walls are sloping, and the coloristic color scheme continues, linking inside and outside and creating an inspiring and dynamic learning environment.” The lyrical quality of the design provides a dynamic education environment while adding life to the old neighborhood.