Kalvebod Fælled School / Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects

Denmark | Educational

Kalvebod Fælled School © Torben Eskerod


Kalvebod Fælled School by Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects is located in the new urban district of Ørestad South. With its characteristic round shape, Kalvebod Fælled School stands out from the adjacent housing while breaking the strong winds of Ørestaden. With its subtle color scheme and finely detailed facade, the building both integrates itself into its urban surroundings and the nearby landscape.


The facade is composed of vertical panels of aluminum that functions as a sun shading system © Torben Eskerod


Exposed concrete columns run through the entire length of the building © Anders Sune Berg


The school’s facade is composed of hard materials, with glass at its bottom, aluminum above and stairs and balconies above. The aluminum a raw finish, which gives the facade a more varied and detailed look when you get up close than the usual polished version. The different compositions of perforated- and non-perforated aluminum sheets are used as a dynamic sun shading system that can cover the windows behind with up to 80%. Furthermore, the vertical rhythm of the facade nuances and downplays the horizontal impact of the school in the area.


Warm pine and a smoothly polished terrazzo floor © Torben Eskerod


The school canteen © Torben Eskerod


As a contrast to the hard facade, the interior is warm: The walls are clad with pine while students walk on a smoothly polished terrazzo floor. Exposed concrete columns run through the entire length of the building and create coherence between the different levels of a central atrium. Everywhere, edges and steps create a number of informal places to sit around the school. The color scheme is held in moderate, comfortable colors and the children find their way around the school by recognizing its spatial qualities.


The children find their way around the school by recognizing its spatial qualities. © Torben Eskerod


Informal seating arrangement in wood. © Torben Eskerod


In the circular school, all rooms and spaces for contemplation, such as classrooms and offices, are placed along the building edge, while the common rooms are placed towards the center of the building. The central common space of the circular school is the atrium, a connecting space from which students and teachers get visual contact with the different levels and functions of the school.


The balconies frame the main atrium © Anders Sune Berg


From the atrium, students and teachers get visual contact to the different levels and functions of the school © Anders Sune Berg


In the center of the school, a rectangular gym hall with glass is placed on the first floor, with glass walls facing the large atrium space. In the original plans for the school, the gym and the school was placed in two separate buildings close to the city, but the architects chose to combine the two geometries and move the school to the edge of the Kalvebod Fælled landscape instead. By placing the gym inside the school building, the costs for roof and facade was reduced by a third, while the rectangular gym challenges the shape of round school and creates interesting, spatial qualities in the interior.


The rectangular gym and the school was originally supposed to be in two separate buildings © Anders Sune Berg


The meeting between the rectangular glass gym hall and the school balconies © Torben Eskerod


The classrooms are placed in continuous circles stacked on the three upper floors. They are placed chronologically, with pre-preparatory classes at the bottom, the intermediate stage and the lower secondary classes on top. Stairs from the atrium space lead you to balconies, from with you move along and into the classrooms. All classrooms are trapeze-shaped with a french balcony facing the city and landscape outside.


Trapeze shaped classrooms © Anders Sune Berg


View to the landscape of Kalvebod Fælled from the classrooms © Torben Eskerod


In the class’ windows, deep wooden frames create alternative spaces to sit and drawback from the larger classroom while still being part of the social life of the class. Other measures such as differentiated ceiling heights, niches and smaller rooms that separate classrooms create more options for children who need space on their own during the day. With many children gathered in one place, the architects have also focused on creating a comfortable sound environment using acoustic fabric behind the wooden walls, curtains in front of large glass panels and acoustic polish on the ceilings.


Niches in window frames © Anders Sune Berg


Acoustic curtains on the large glass panels of the gym © Anders Sune Berg


 A playful, social landscape by architects BOGL surrounds the school. The schoolyard is neither closed off or fenced in, but situated outside the school’s facade, both blending into the city and the landscape around. The playground is composed of small, cradle islands with groves of birch trees that complement the vertical rhythm of the facade, create wind shelter and give the children different to play places and hide. The concrete paths between the islands have soft, handmade edges, but show no definite way to walk through the landscape – that is for the children themselves to figure out. At the edge of the schoolyard, an open meadow with flowers and grazing cows continues into the natural landscape.


The school opens up to the public and are used for different activities during the day © Anders Sune Berg


Children eating in the canteen © Torben Eskerod


The school is meant to be a cultural meeting place for the new urban district of Ørestad Syd and invites the local community inside after the school day ends to participate in sports, night classes, and performances. The large central atrium can accommodate festivals, flea markets, and larger cultural events, and during the daytime, the ground level is publicly accessible with arrival and dining areas, an auditorium and smaller sport – and music facilities.


Window detail © Anders Sune Berg


Light reflections in the raw aluminum facade © Torben Eskerod


CITY Copenhagen
ARCHITECT Lundgaard & Tranberg