TEC H.C. Ørsted Gymnasium
Our aim has been to create a building that becomes an active and integral part of the teaching. We have focused on zoning and on opportunities for working across disciplines and in a theme-based manner, so that changes in pedagogical practice are supported by and integrated directly into the architecture. The aim is to create a learning space that inspires and arouses curiosity. The new building will be an experimentarium – a technology and science playground for students and teachers alike.
- Kongens Lyngby
- TEC – Technical Education Copenhagen
- 8.800 m²
- Capital expenditure
- 150 mio. kr.
- Consultant architect
- CC Contractors | Anker Hansen | Orbicon | Thing Brandt Landskab
Architect’s main theme: a tribute to Ørsted
The new H.C. Ørsted Gymnasium manifests itself in a number of areas as a tribute to science – and to physicist, philosopher and scientist Hans Christian Ørsted. The main architectural feature of the new technical senior high school consists of a stack of large, rounded shapes, which make visual reference to electromagnetic coils. The ‘coils’ each contain classrooms, labs and meeting rooms. They form the interior structure of the building, while also extending into the facade and merging together. There is thus a common thread in the interior spatialities and in the look of the facade.
The aula and auditorium make up the school’s central focal point – called Ørstedet.
The coils are the school’s academic focal points, containing classrooms and meeting rooms.
The production floor – one continuous polished concrete floor – binds the coils together and leads out to the surrounding outdoor areas.
The school’s circular infrastructure orbits the two stairwells (Polerne) and meets in the heart of the school.
Outdoor terraces form a natural extension to interior learning spaces.
The coils are also evident in the facade, linking the interior and exterior spatialities of the building into a single unit.
Two sides of the same building
The new building Sweco Architects has created has a different look, depending on which direction you approach it from. Viewed from the busy Elsinore motorway, the impressive building rises like a landmark, while the structure is scaled down and more inviting from the direction of the future townhouse development.
To the east, the coils are used to cascade the building down. To the west they are used to create a ‘wonderwall’ – to arouse the curiosity of passersby. Curiosity is a consistent theme for the building overall – aroused in the students in their daily activities, and hopefully also in anyone who encounters the building.
The new education building aims to support the high academic ideals that H.C. Ørsted Gymnasium strives towards. It is not enough to deliver an average standard building – the architecture has to embrace the school’s ambitions and dare to look to the future, with a robust building that takes the science learning spaces seriously. Our focus been on creating a spacious concept that gives centre stage to the various disciplines – a concept that we call ‘the coils’.
The facade is the building’s unifying architectural element. A specially developed facade system using vertical aluminium battens gives the building its unique look. The various profiles and aluminium shades of the batten facade surround the entire building and noise wall, so these have a homogeneous architectural expression that constantly changes character is the sun wanders by.
The heart of the building is a distinctive, three-storey aula – ‘Ørstedet’ – which changes character throughout the day as the daylight is refracted at different angles by the batten surface. It will be a special gathering place, where students can meet for social events and across years.
The spatial organisation of the building is defined by the coils. The coils are selected spaces, such as classrooms, meeting rooms and stairwells, which are being made into natural academic and learning focal points, while also communicating the transition between the inner and outer learning spaces. In order to create an exciting and varied teaching environment, the building has to offer varying spatialities for students to explore. To facilitate learning, the coils feature different kinds of fixtures, based on the various use scenarios.
While the equipment-intensive labs have been assigned to the coils, the common areas and theory classrooms have been grouped in the spaces between the coils. The result is an open and flexible floor plan, where theory classrooms can be easily transformed and incorporated into the common areas. The aim with the coils is to create the best academic resonance between the classrooms and the common areas.