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TQ Schools: Orestad College by 3XN Architects

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The design of this Danish school is characterised by spatial flexibility and a large communual space for playing and learning. It was commissioned as a landmark for its neighbourhood

Located in the main urban expansion area of Copenhagen, the building was commissioned as a landmark for the neighbourhood and for the reformod the Danish educational system. The project displays a visionary interpretation of openness and flexibility regarding team sizes, varying from individual groups to classes and assemblies.

It offers an impressive core space that allows for vertical and horizontal interconnection, including retreat areas for the students. This central atrium encourages a sense of community and articulates the college’s ambition to provide interdisciplinary education. Four boomerang-shaped floor plans are rotated to create the super structure, which forms the overall frame of the building, with four study zones occupying one floor plan each.

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Atrium space

The flexible layout, combined with the usage of advanced IT systems and sophisticated time management, encourages students to make their own decisions in respect of learning goals and learning strategies, thus preparing them for university. From the exterior, the building manages to stay on par with the massive neighbouring malls and housing blocks, justifying the huge interior volume from an urbanistic point of view.

As a rule, the glass is smooth with the deck fronts, but on each floor, one facade is withdrawn to create an outdoor space for the students. In front of the glass facades, a series of coloured semi-transparent glass louvres can open or close to offer protection from the sun, while adding dashes of colour to the indoor environment.

Orestad School

Copenhagen, Denmark,
2007: 12,000m2

Christian Kuhn reviews other school typologies in February’s AR: Leutschenbach School by Christian Kerez, Romania School by Herman Hertzberger and Ringstabekk School by DIV.A.Arkitekter

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