Nordhavnen, a neighbourhood in northern Copenhagen, is home to Denmark’s biggest school, with 1200 students and 280 employees. Classes cover all ages, from elementary school to secondary school, so different activities take place in different parts of the school. The building consists of five towers containing large classrooms where smaller children can engage in a variety of activities without having to move around the building. The rest of the school has a classic layout with the addition of shared common areas on various levels to add to the value of students’ experience.
The school’s fortunate location on a large lot close to the sea allowed the architects to position it right by the water, with views over the sea, with sports fields and outdoor spaces in a more sheltered area at the back. This exposure permits full use of the sun’s rays, offering the opportunity to create a façade that looks like aluminium, but is in actual fat dotted with 12,000 photovoltaic panels producing 200MWh of energy annually. The building is not only environmentally sustainable but has 6,048 sqm of panels producing more than half of the energy it consumes, making it one of Denmark’s biggest integrated solar installations.
Lastly, the panels are positioned with some motion so that the façade appears to vibrate, creating an effect like sequins and avoiding the risk of creating a banal smooth, flat effect.
Address: Levantkaj, Nordhavnen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Property Foundation Copenhagen International School (ECIS)
Architect: C.F. Møller Architects
Landscape architect: C.F. Møller Landscape
Engineer: Niras Size: 26,000 m² (1200 students)