Modern learning environment for iconic school in Copenhagen

The school Holbergskolen, Copenhagen NW, has been completely refurbished with respect for the original architectural style dating back to 1953. The result is a complex of modernised rooms and learning spaces - and not least a healthy indoor climate.

Photo: KANT/Jonathan Weimar

Today’s educational principles have guided the refurbishment of Holbergskolen, of which KANT arkitekter was in charge. The extensive refurbishment was carried out with respect for the existing architecture, while adding a modern twist.

The school is attended by 600 pupils (Years 0 to 9), and the school remained open during the comprehensive refurbishment. The aim was to create a multi-functional learning environment that meets the different needs of the children, while also being designed for play and learning as well as relaxation.

Respectful of existing architecture
The school was designed by the Danish architect Carl H. Nimb in 1953, who also designed Frederiksberg City Hall in Copenhagen. It was therefore deemed important to preserve elements of the original architectural style. Among other things, the characteristic brick façade and tiled roofs are untouched, while inside references have been retained to colours and materials typical of Copenhagen schools of that time – like the eye-catching, grey linoleum floors.

Spaces for activities
To accommodate today’s learning principles, small spaces have been created for group work, and the furniture and interiors are bright, simple and inviting.

The schoolyard has been upgraded to include a number of exciting outdoor facilities, as have the school’s two sports halls, which now offer a wide range of activities. Troldtekt acoustic panels have been installed in the sports halls and adjacent changing rooms, which contributes to good acoustics and a healthy indoor climate.

Aesthetic attention to detail
Holbergskolen has been awarded the prestigious School Building of the Year 2019 award at the Nohrcon conference on the schools and learning spaces of the future.

In connection with the award, the jury emphasized, how the successful modernization has been carried out with great respect for the original building.