Revival of traditional inner-city school

The school Grøndalsvængets Skole in Copenhagen has undergone radical refurbishment and expansion. The result is a school tailored to modern learning, yet which has preserved its original qualities.

Sound-absorbing cement-bonded wood wool panels from Troldtekt are often used as acoustic ceilings in schools and educational institutions
Photo: Torben Eskerod

Based on an in-depth understanding of what constitutes good school architecture today and with a strong focus on energy optimisation, JWW Arkitekter has transformed an old inner-city school – Grøndalsvængets Skole in Copenhagen NW – into a modern neighbourhood school, in so doing creating a recognisable open space in the cityscape for both pupils and local residents.

Two new buildings have been added: a new building for the youngest primary school children, furnished with educational facilities and recreational services, as well as a new building for music and physical education. Respecting the school’s existing architecture, the two new buildings have been constructed using beautiful and robust materials – including 250,000 recycled bricks – to preserve the original architectural qualities and details.

Superior acoustics
The Grøndalsvængets Skole project has included thorough refurbishing and upgrading of the existing school building to meet current requirements for differentiated learning spaces, facilities and indoor climate. The ceilings are clad with Troldtekt acoustic panels to ensure a comfortable sound environment. Solar cells, energy-reducing lighting and demand-driven ventilation systems help reduce the school’s carbon footprint. 

The school was one of five projects nominated for the prestigious School Building of the Year 2019 award. The jury said about the nomination:

– An absolute sense of campus environment blended with a perceived village feel, designed on the basis of sustainable thinking as regards the choice of materials – while at the same time signalling a wealth of supportive teaching and learning spaces characteristic of and transgressing the outdoor and indoor environments.