Focus on food and movement

New school building at Islands Brygge is a prime example of high-level learning architecture.

Photo: Thomas Mølvig, arkitekt MAA

One hundred years ago, the harbour-front area of Islands Brygge in Copenhagen was dominated by port-related activities, but now it is a modern urban district with a mix of commercial and residential properties. Many students and young families live there, infusing the area with special dynamics and generating multiple cultural activities, on top of which Islands Brygge also has an extremely popular harbour bath.

The new lower secondary school building at Skolen på Islands Brygge is characterised by its distinctive facades along Artillerivej. A wide external stairway leads up to the large roof landscape on level 4. At the top is a sports roof with a running track, fenced ball games area and a parkour area. C.F. Møller Architects in collaboration with Third Nature created the visionary architecture that characterises the entire school. 

Quantum leap

In recent years, the design of Danish primary and lower secondary schools has taken a gigantic step forward. The new building at Skolen på Islands Brygge is yet another outstanding example of how one can take a new approach and create fantastic facilities for schoolchildren. The strong focus on food and movement is a chance for pupils to link theoretical teaching with bodily, sensual and experiential learning.

Visiting the new lower secondary school during the midday break, you will find all 780 pupils gathered in the large, high-ceilinged dining hall. Here, they are served a tasty hot meal, which is presented by the chefs who have prepared it with the help of some of the pupils. The presentation triggers a round of applause, after which the meal is eaten in peace and quiet. There are no greasy packed lunches here, and the specialist classroom for food science is, of course, the first classroom you come across on your tour of the building.

Next to the dining hall is a large, well-equipped sports hall, separated only by a large glass wall. The aim here is to highlight the importance of both diet and physical activity in daily life. Moreover, the entire building is carefully laid out and with a lively learning environment supporting a high level of well-being for the children.

The indoor climate and acoustics have been given a high priority in each and every room. Square Troldtekt panels in natural wood have been installed throughout the school for a homogenous look. They create a discreet backdrop and help to give the very different rooms a common identity.