This Danish school was originally created in 1960 as the result of a competition to design Klostermarkskolen, a new school in the city of Roskilde.

Troldtekt Klostermark School Roskilde
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect MAA

It was the first win for Henning Larsen, the world-famous architect who went on to have an extraordinary career. At the time, the school’s architecture featured visionary single storey concrete construction and flat roofs. Daylight was given top priority in all the rooms, while a central corridor neatly linked them all together.

The first pupils entered the classrooms in 1963 and the building functioned smoothly for many years. However, after 40 years of loyal service it was beginning to show its age, with the concrete in a poor state of repair. In 2010, the City Council decided that the school should be completely renovated to stand proudly again but in a new, more contemporary version. To achieve this, it was necessary to take a radical approach and in 2013 work commenced on demolishing almost half of the 12,000 m2 structure.

Today, the school has been entirely transformed. About 4,500 m2 is new build, while the rest has been thoroughly renovated. From outside, the school is more visible than previously and presents a more varied façade. The main entrance has been moved and is now framed by a new, two storey extension. This new wing borders the playground and faces a large green area that adjoins the school on the south-west side.

The objective was to design a more holistic school, thereby creating an inspiring and dynamic learning environment to take shape.  An example of this is the use of large areas of acoustic ceiling which complement the unusual green floor in the library and on the main staircase.  The Danish architects JJW Arkitekter expressed their design concept as, “Thinking of the school in terms of a town with a central marketplace and a number of small local squares. In this way, we have created both a fellowship that encompasses the school as a whole and small local spaces centred around the various age groups.”