VÆKST – School in Sydhavnen
VÆKST is the name of the new building in Sydhavnen which will cater for the area’s youngest and oldest children in the future. The City of Copenhagen and the TRUST partnership are developing and building a new lower secondary school and day care centre with ambitious, innovative learning spaces and growth gardens.
- 5.000 m² | 1.200 m² sports hall
- Københavns Municipality | ByK
- Consultant architect
- TRUST: Enemærke & Petersen | Sweco Architects | Nøhr & Sigsgaard | Norconsult | DOMINIA | Lytt Architecture | Kragh & Berglund
Expansion of Sydhavn School
Sydhavnen is currently being transformed into a modern, integrated district with housing, institutions, schools and businesses, in a new context with canals and docks. Due to the area’s ongoing popularity and growth, there is an increasing need to raise the capacity of the local school and childcare facilities.
City of Copenhagen and the TRUST partnership are therefore constructing a new 5,500 sqm building on Teglholmen, which will house the district’s youngest and oldest children in a newly established day care centre and lower secondary school. The new building, to be called VÆKST, will be a direct but independent extension of the existing school in Sydhavnen, which has previously won awards for its functionality and design.
The vision for the new project is to create a building that provides a setting that – through its design, layout and choice of materials – meets the needs of young children for exploration and play, as well as the needs of the older children for development and learning.
“We are pleased that the building permit has been granted, so we can hopefully commence construction soon. It is an exciting and visionary project that will expand the school in Sydhavnen and provide lots of new opportunities for development and facilities for young and old children alike, with a new day care centre and better space for the lower secondary years,” says Kasper Graa Wulff, Head of Byggeri København in the City of Copenhagen.
ByLab and growth gardens
In order to meet individual needs, two very different outdoor common areas will be created, each based on the theme of ‘growth’. The school will be located on the lower floors in a more urban learning setting, while the day care centre will be placed on the upper floors, each of which has its own outdoor area.
On the ground floor – also called ByLab – an innovative learning space will be established with play and learning islands that bind the city and school together. This will be achieved by raising the building up on columns, so that the city floor can pass under and through it. This will give the older children the opportunity for movement and to burn off some energy, while there is also room for contemplation on the small green learning islands.
“It’s a very exciting project, because we are designing a building for age groups that are at very different stages of their personal development. The name ‘VÆKST’ (growth) therefore refers to personal development, but is also the theme of the building’s architectural aims,” says Karl-Martin Buch Frederiksen, Sweco Architects.
The day care centre is spread over two floors, each of which has its own outdoor area spanning three floors. The rooftop outdoor area, called Væksthaverne (the growth gardens), is bound together architecturally by a large pergola structure. This will allow the outdoor areas to be greened with climbers, which will make the gardens a comfortable and green outdoor environment over time as they grow.
“Our aim is to create a playful world above the city on the roof. The outdoor areas for the day care centre are located here, where vegetation will grow up along the roof from level to level and create the children’s own universe. Smaller paths and undulating landscapes will crisscross this, with space for mirror walls, ball game walls, climbing walls and peepholes out to the surrounding world,” says Karl-Martin Buch Frederiksen.
The building is expected to be ready for use in early 2023.