A living school

Brønshøj Skole has been extended with new pre-school year facilities and specialist classrooms. While respecting the old original school building, the design ensures architectural coherence based on a sustainable focus.

Troldtekt Broenshoej School
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

A modern twist has been added to Brønshøj Skole’s traditional red-brick school buildings in the form of four new adjoining building units. The design of the new buildings is unusually organic with rounded corners and combined with extensive landscaping of the terrain. COR-TEN weathering steel has been used as a unifying element, which curves around the buildings and will gradually patinate like the red-brick facades. The new buildings are partially sunk in the terrain so as not to block the daylight to the old school buildings while ensuring good coherence between the specialist classrooms and the communal areas.

Modern layout
Music, food literacy and science subjects overlook the four courtyards, from where there is access to the rooftop playground. The pre-school year occupies two levels in two of the building units, while the other two house sport facilities and a multi-purpose hall. In the intermediate pedestrian zones there is plenty of space for group work, quiet concentration and exhibitions etc. The pre-school year classrooms are distributed around a spacious cloakroom area and a central staircase between the floors. There is room here as well for assemblies or group work. The cloakrooms and wooden benches match the other materials. The design studio Vandkunsten went out of its way to choose materials that will patinate beautifully with time and which help to create a pleasant environment. Moreover, the choice of materials avoids unnecessary resources having to be spent on maintenance.

Changing surfaces
Inside, the walls are either concrete or plywood. Both are sturdy, textural and hard-wearing materials which patinate slowly. Troldtekt acoustic panels have been chosen for all the ceilings on account of their unique acoustic properties. Moreover, the Troldtekt acoustic panels match the other surfaces and will retain their original character with the passage of time. The floors in the classrooms are parquet, which is more durable and thus requires less maintenance than, for example, linoleum.

The choice of materials at Brønshøj Skole is noteworthy. Materials such as Troldtekt, wood and concrete have been used, all characterised by their breathability and durability, the way they enhance the indoor climate and the fact they require little or no maintenance. In addition to bringing the new buildings alive, these textural and honest materials provide the school with its own unique and strong aesthetic identity.