School Building in Copenhagen, Facing Brick - 2.4.78 Brown Devil
© NORD Architects A/S

Re-thinking learning

architectum issue roof and façade

School Building in Copenhagen, Facing Brick - 2.4.78 Brown Devil
© NORD Architects A/S

European School

in Denmark

School Building in Copenhagen, Facing Brick - 2.4.78 Brown Devil
© NORD Architects A/S

Used products

Egernsund 2.4.78 Brown Devil

Re-thinking learning

Design simplicity, remarkable execution, and attention to detail – that’s what Denmark is famous for. As well as exemplifying these three qualities, the new European School Copenhagen is also a perfect example of architecture and urban planning working hand in hand to maximum effect.

The European School in Copenhagen

Since late 2018, a new public international school, occupying an area of 14,000 m2 and with capacity for around 900 students, has nestled among the historic buildings of the Carlsberg district in Copenhagen. The school is surrounded by a variety of cultural and architectural landmarks which influenced the design: in a district with a long and important history, it sits right next to the Carlsberg brewery and succeeds in both blending into and livening up the area with its modern design. 

Cut from the same cloth

There is barely a building in the district that is not clad in brick, and that goes for the European School Copenhagen too. The decorative recesses and projections of its brick façade bring it to life and it successfully ties in with surrounding buildings thanks to the choice of brick. The ‘Brown Devil’ is a standard size Danish façade brick, characterised by irregular colouring, which can be used to construct both load bearing and non-load bearing walls and is suitable for conservation and non-conservation areas alike.
“The European School Copenhagen integrates into the living history of industrial architecture and its era. The school builds on this tradition and cultural heritage – as a new interpretation of it in its own time”, says Morten Gregersen, partner and architect at NORD Architects, who worked with Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects to design the school.

New approach to learning and living

Open learning environments are an essential component of modern school buildings – modular learning spaces which can be opened and closed as required, are part and parcel of a new approach to learning.
It is also the basis for the structure of the European School Copenhagen, which makes use of even ‘unused’ spaces. ‘Learning stairs’ give staircases a new function as a place to pause and catch breath at break times, and can also be incorporated into lessons if required. Two such ‘learning stairs’ form the centre of the main building, with other learning spaces, classrooms, the canteen and toilets all arranged around them. 

Opening up spaces

“Mindful of the historic surroundings, we have maximised the surface area of the school building and created an open, modern, and vibrant learning environment”, says Thomas West Jensen, partner and architect at Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects.
Outdoors, too, the European School Copenhagen has redefined boundaries: the free-standing sports hall opens on to to a recreational zone, where the roofing landscape connects to playgrounds and seating areas on various levels. The idea is that the teaching environment should merge with urban spaces and city life, and also be an inviting space for people from outside the school. 

School Building in Copenhagen, Facing Brick - 2.4.78 Brown Devil
© NORD Architects A/S

Facts & Figures

Project Name: European School, Copenhagen, Denmark


Architects   Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects and Nord Architects

Client   Copenhagen Municipality

Year of completion   2018

Category   Roof & Façade

Products used   Egernsund 2.4.78 Brown Devil

School Building in Copenhagen, Facing Brick - 2.4.78 Brown Devil

Egernsund 2.4.78 Brown Devil - Denmark

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