In fill / on fill

The school Christianshavns Skole is located in a very built-up part of central Copenhagen, where there is little scope for extension due to space limitations and historical considerations. In adding new pre-school and after-school club facilities, it was necessary to build on the existing structure.

Troldtekt cement-bonded wood wool panels ensure superior acoustics in school architecture
Photo: Stamers Kontor / Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The school, which is located in Prinsessegade, just opposite Freetown Christiania, is in the midst of a major refurbishment and renovation project, but the ‘annexe’ has been completed, and has already acquired several nicknames. Three new storeys have been added on top of the existing gymnastics hall which overlooks the street, extending the block-like structure across the gymnastics building and creating an enclosed courtyard, which has now been transformed into a playground.

There was always a desire that the building should blend in with the surrounding cityscape, and cladding the facade in tombac ensures that it will gradually patinate and change character. The architects have made the most of the special location of the building to frame the views of the street from the classrooms, while strengthening the connection to the playground area at the back.

Intense use
The new extension – an in fill and an on fill rolled into one – houses rooms for pre-school children as well as the after-school club. The building is also used for evening classes outside school hours. The architecture is friendly, yet with a definite robustness to it. At first glance, the stairwell comes across as being very raw, but is softened by the Troldtekt acoustic panels and fine detailing.

Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed in all the rooms to ensure good acoustics and a warm and pleasant atmosphere. Using solid, high-quality materials inside and out, the architects Rubow Arkitekter have incorporated the annexe into an urban and experiential learning environment which is making its own mark in this historic district.