Bjarke Ingels completes Danish high school sports and arts expansion

By placing parts of the new building beneath the football fields, the students are able to walk through the sunken sports hall at the center of the school´s courtyard to the classrooms, cafeteria, and out to the main entrance at street level. 

May 12, 2015 |
BIG completes Danish high school sports and arts expansion

The addition at Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium integrates with the existing campus in one continuous flow. Photo: Jens Lindhe

The firm of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, BIG, recently completed a 15,069-sf high school expansion just north of Copenhagen—Ingels’ alma mater.

Composed of two stories, the cultural activities building sprang up between Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium's football field and a recently complete multipurpose hall, which was also designed by BIG. The new arts building connects with the school’s existing educational facilities in one continuous flow.

“My high school, formerly introverted and dispersed, has become open and integrated through two focused interventions,” Ingels said in a release. “Even though each phase is autonomous and complete, their introduction into the mix has completely reconfigured the sum of the parts. Like a catalyst or an enzyme, once inserted, all the surrounding substance transforms into something completely new.”

From the architect:


The roof of the new arts building extends the school’s existing football fields into a green carpet for informal activity, serving as informal seating overlooking sports events. Image by Rasmus Hjotshoj

Construction materials and finishes familiar from the multipurpose hall are integrated in reverse. Where the sports hall is made of concrete with wooden finishes above and below ground, the classrooms are the opposite: wooden walls span the length of the building, complimented by concrete ceilings and floors. This continuity and repetition of materials creates a coherent visual identity for the school. Photo: Jens Lindhe


Image: Iwan Baan

Image: Rasmus Hjortshoj

Image: Rasmus Hjortshoj

Image: Jens Lindhe

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