Inspiration field trip to Danish schools


In partnership with the team behind the SCHULBAU trade fairs, Troldtekt hosted a field trip to Aarhus this week for architects, school principals and other decision-makers involved in school building projects. The 27 German participants were shown round leading examples of Danish architecture that promote learning.

How can architecture foster inclusion, digitalisation and movement? How can you combine a healthy indoor climate with low energy consumption?

These were some of the important topics on the programme when 27 German architects, school principals and decision-makers visited Aarhus seeking new inspiration. The trip took place on 22-24 May 2019 and was organised by Cubus Medien Verlag, which is also behind the renowned SCHULBAU trade fairs in Germany. Troldtekt was co-organiser and sponsor of the trip.

The delegation visited schools in and around Aarhus which serve as prime examples of good school architecture in various ways. The aim was to draw inspiration from Denmark for the extensive school construction and renovation projects Germany is embarking on in the years ahead.

Four schools in the spotlight

The four schools visited on the trip were:

  • Skovbakkeskolen in Odder – a newly built school from 2017 that offers playful architecture and learning through movement. CEBRA architects have created large communal areas and active corridors. Read about the school here.  
  • Grønløkkeskolen in Tranbjerg – which has undergone an extensive energy renovation, with a focus on creating a healthy indoor climate.
  • Søndervangsskolen in Viby – which has been renovated with the aim of raising leaning outcomes and well-being in a disadvantaged residential area. Friis and Moltke oversaw the renovation, and SMAK Arkitekter designed a 1.2 km ‘movement path’ which makes exercise and play an integral part of the school day. Read about the school here.
  • Katrinebjergskolen in Aarhus – which focuses on inclusion and interaction. Selected classes are taught based on the NEST programme, and children with autism are included with other students on an equal basis.

Multi-billion euro investment in German schools

Many German architects are busy designing school buildings at the moment. In the Hamburg area alone, the authorities estimate in a new development plan that four billion euros will have to be invested in school buildings by 2030 in order to accommodate increasing student numbers. In autumn 2016, KfW Research concluded in an analysis that 53,500 schools are in need of renovation, requiring a total investment of 34 billion euros.