New life for Denmark’s oldest school
Denmark’s oldest school, the listed Sølvgade School built in 1847, close to King Christian IV’s famous historic naval barracks, Nyboder, in Copenhagen, has for many years been lacking space and modern facilities. C. F. Moller has carefully renovated the school and done an extension which in its form and colors is true to the surroundings, but also adds a modernistic twist to the school.
The idea has been to create a building that speaks the language of the children – colorful and musical. At the same time the building should correspond to and integrate with the historic surroundings.
architect and partner Lone Wiggers
Sølvgade School is surrounded by historic buildings and parks like Nyboder, the Castle of Rosenborg and its surrounding gardens, called Kongens Have. Nearby is the significant, modernistic residential complex, Dronningegården (1943-58) by architects C. F. Møller and Kay Fisker.
A lively, modernistic twist
The new six-storey building with its striking glass façade gives Sølvgade School a lively, modernistic twist, but with its slanted shapes and color scheme relating to Nyboder’s pastel shades, it also corresponds with the historic surroundings.
Inside, the floorplan layout twists and angles, walls are sloping, and the coloristic color scheme continues, linking inside and outside and creating an inspiring and dynamic learning environment.
Minimal use of energy and optimal indoor climate
By using the time honored methods of passive solar gain and the chimney effect, the Sølvgade School in Copenhagen, Denmark bolsters new, efficient technology. Avoiding the pollution of the street, fresh air is pulled and preheated from the rear of the building. The double glazed façade completes the circulation, exhausting air to the street with a natural chimney effect. In addition to the ventilation, creating the optimal indoor climate crucial to a learning environment, this double glazing serves triple duty as it dampens street noise and serves as a solar screen. Using these and other methods, the building uses an impressively low 68 kwh/m2/year.
A good neighbour
All in all the school is a good neighbour. Considering not only its own natural lighting needs, the building preserves the light for surrounding buildings. This thoughtfulness continues through the rest of its form. While maintaining its modern sensibilities, the building borrows colors, proportions and references from the historic surroundings. The structure respects existing patterns by changing rooflines to connect a historic side street building to façades on the other side of the block.
+ Project credits / data
Project: Sølvgade School
Address: Sølvgade 16, 1307 København K
Size: 4500 m2 (renovation 2100 m2, new build 2400 m2)
Client: The City of Copenhagen and Københavns Ejendomme
Architect: C. F. Møller Architects
Landscape: C. F. Møller Architects
Engineers: Esbensen Rådgivende Ingeniører and Sloth Møller
Prizes: 1. Prize in competition, 2005