We are glad to feature this dynamic new project by Architects 3XN Architects. The Ørestad College is the latest ‘gymnasium’ (college or upper secondary school) in Copenhagen, built in the Danish capital’s development area; Ørestad.
The Ørestad College will be the first in Denmark to fulfil new educational visions regarding subjects, organisation and teaching systems.
Communication, interaction and synergy has been key issues. The project displays a visionary interpretation of openness and flexibility regarding team sizes, varying from the individual over groups to classes and assemblies, and reflects international tendencies aiming at achieving a more dynamic and life-like studying environment and introducing IT as a main tool. The intention is also to enforce the students’ abilities gradually to take responsibility for own learning, being able to work in teams as well as working individually.
The college is interconnected vertically and horizontally. Four boomerang shaped floor plans are rotated to create the powerful super structure which forms the overall frame of the building – simple and highly flexible. Four study zones occupy one floor plan each. Avoiding level changes makes the organizational flexibility as high as possible, and enables the different teaching and learning spaces to overlap and interact with no distinct borders. The rotation opens a part of each floor to the vertical tall central atrium and forms a zone that provides community and expresses the college’s ambition for interdisciplinary education. The storey decks are open towards a central core, where a broad main staircase winds its way upwards to the roof terrace. The main staircase is the heart of college educational and social life; the primary connection up an down, but also a place to stay, watch and be seen. Three ‘mega columns’ form the primary load bearing system, supplemented by a number of smaller columns positioned according to structural requirement, not as part of a regular grid.
As a result, each floor has few permanent elements and can be laid out and rearranged almost completely at will. The superstructure is supplemented by a series of newly developed ‘room furniture’, which accommodate the need for the flexible and temporary room arrangements and learning environments required by varying group sizes – from one on one to an entire cohort. The rotated decks are mirrored in the facades. Due to their rotation, the decks create openings double- and triple high while drawing lines on the façade. As a rule, the glass is smooth with the deck fronts, but on each floor, one façade is withdrawn to create an outdoor space. These outdoor spaces are connected from ground to roof. In front of the glass facades, a series of coloured semi-transparent glass louvers can open or close to protect from the sun, while adding dashes of colour to the indoor environment.
Address: Ørestad Boulevard/Arne Jacobsens Allé, Copenhagen.
Client: Copenhagen Municipality.
Award: 1st prize in invited competition 200.
Completion: 2006. Size: 12.000 m2. Budget: DKK 200 mio. (€ 27 mio or $32.5 mio) .
Architect: 3XN Architects, Kim Herforth Nielsen, Bo Boje Larsen, Kim Christiansen.
Engineer: Søren Jensen A/S.
Adviser: Helle Mathiasen, cand. pæd. ph.d.
Acoustics: Frederik Wiuff.
Photo: Adam Mørk
3XN is a Danish architecture firm with half of their competitions won Internationally. They are now working on innovative projects for instance the Museum of Liverpool, the new musichouse in Amsterdam and the new Ørestad College.
About Kim Herforth Nielsen: Architect MAA RIBA Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder of 3XN, is Principal Architect. Kim Herforth Nielsen holds full architectural responsibility for all 3XN products from original concept to turnkey building. Kim has been a main driving force in 3XN's 20 years of history, with projects like the Royal Danish Embassy in Berlin; the Architects' Building in Copenhagen, the Music Building in Amsterdam, Ørestad College and the upcoming Museum of Liverpool in his port folio. Kim is honoured with the Danish Knight's Cross and the Eckersberg Medaille. He is judge in the Danish Architectural Association's competitions, sat in the AR Emerging Architects Award 2006 jury and is a frequent lecturer at architects' schools, universities etc. world wide.
© All material displayed in the Article photos and content are coutesy of 3XN. No reproduction is allowed without their prior consent.
Infringement to this copyright could be subject to procecution.