This brilliant new school in Copenhagen’s burgeoning sustainable neighborhood of Sluseholmen will be the first school building in Denmark to comply with new Danish energy standards. With rooftop gardens and play areas, a community cafe and even a dockyard, JJW Arkitekter's Sydhavn Skole (South Harbor School) won the city competition it was entered in for good reason. Perhaps inspired by the Oslo Opera House or BIG's 8-Tallet, the mixed-use complex connects students, parents, boatmen and teachers to the adjacent harbor by elegantly terracing down into the water.
Extending into the water, the school and adjacent sports center connect with the harbor like a ship alongside a quay. The buildings open up to the sea with terraces placed at various levels to provide rooftop space for games, gardening and other active recreation. The small vegetable gardens will not only provide a breath of fresh air, but also a chance for children to learn why greens are not gross out in the open.
Special-use rooms such as ones for needlework and woodwork will be placed on the ground floor of the dockyard, ensuring easy access from both the street and the water. Building projects can be constructed in the schoolyard and then set afloat as soon as the paint is dry.
Facing land, the school echoes the mass and scale of the surrounding Sluseholmen neighborhood with a 4-6 story block-like façade. This is made from materials that create a different aesthetic depending on the viewer’s position and the time of day.
The interior also mimics the character of the city; it is laid out as a dense community of houses, workshops, shops, streets and open spaces. Science classrooms for biology, physics, and technology will be arranged centrally around an internal square.
The school and sports center are intended to double as a community center for the residents of Sluseholmen. In fact, there will be a space for parents to grab coffee together before biking their children home, and the school kitchen opens up onto a sunny terrace envisioned as a meeting point.
The school is located near the flowing Koralbadet Harbour Baths and explicitly designed to feel open to the surrounding city. Also featuring special-subject classrooms on the ground floor that are open to the neighborhood past school hours, there is little doubt that the Sydhavn Skole will succeed as a natural neighborhood hub. It broke ground just a few weeks ago, so expect to see more photos of this innovative school late next year.
Via Copenhagen X