N. Zahles Gymnasieskole: Copenhagen School

N. Zahles Upper Secondary School Copenhagen, Architecture, Architect, Design

N. Zahles Gymnasieskole, København : Copenhagen School

Copenhagen Education Building – design by Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter ApS

23 Jul 2012

Extension of the N. Zahles Upper Secondary School Copenhagen

Location: Nørre Voldgade 5-7, Copenhagen, Denmark

Architect: Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter ApS

Rørbæk & Møller Architects have designed and project managed the extension of the N. Zahles Upper Secondary School, which opened in 2012.

Over a period of more than 150 years, the N. Zahles Upper Secondary School has held a prominent position within the education of children and young adults. N. Zahles is a school with long-standing traditions, but also a school that is constantly developing and renewed, lately even physically.

N. Zahles Gymnasieskole København N. Zahles Upper Secondary School Copenhagen N. Zahles Gymnasieskole Copenhagen
pictures from architects

With the new extension positioned on the rooftop of the preservation-worthy main building, Zahles is reconfigured to meet the future with modern educational facilities. The school has gained a physical environment that make up the platform for modern education, where creative and innovate learning can take place. Additional space for thorough study as well as a variety of social activities has been made available to the students thus contributing positively to the overall work environment.

The extension consists of educational facilities with an adjacent study centre, a new canteen, as well as a common roof terrace, where an unobstructed view over the rooftops of Copenhagen is revealed.

The new extension has added an almost symbolic metaphor to the school, where old and new is combined, traditions and innovative education is brought together. The classical building and modern esthetics are unified.

The tree top

The facades of the extension are designed with glass partitions with a welded outer aluminum filigree structure. The pattern is inspired by the large trees of the surrounding parks and streets and incorporates the building within this environment. It also filters daylight into the building, casting shadows of branches into the interior.

The height of the extension is adjusted in coherence with the other buildings in the street, thus creating a natural extension of the built environment. The light steel and glass construction contributes to emphasize the characteristics and mass of the original school building and the colour of the filigree-façade is toned to meet the adjacent buildings slate roof surfaces. In this way, the extension crowns the existing building, and rather than becoming an extension of the mass of the main building, it appears to mingle with the neighboring rooftops.

Uppermost Green

While the existing buildings architectural qualities are carefully restored, the extension is, both internally and externally, conducted in a consistently contemporary idiom. The new surfaces and furnishings of the interior are executed in white, while a characteristic and bold green floor emphasizes the encounter between old and new, and adds to the distinctive identity of the N. Zahles Upper Secondary School.

Zahles Gymnasieskole København N. Zahles School Copenhagen Extension of the N. Zahles Upper Secondary School Copenhagen
pictures from architects

N. Zahles Gymnasieskole København – Building Information

Title: Extension of the N. Zahles Upper Secondary School
Location: Nørre Voldgade 5-7, Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: N. Zahles Gymnasieskole
Gross floor area: ca. 6.000 sqm
Year of construction: 2011-12
Type of assignment: First prize in invited competition

N. Zahles Gymnasieskole images / information from Rørbæk og Møller Arkitekter ApS


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