Nærheden School

Christensen & Co Architects as Architects

The new multipurpose learning and community house in the new city district ‘Nærheden’ in central Zealand, includes a public school that can house 1500 pupils, an integrated daycare, a sports hall and cultural facilities for the surrounding community.


Nærheden School will be one of the most important venues in the area. It will be a house of the people, where children and locals of all ages can meet, participate and learn.


The architecture is designed to shape the future of learning, which means that the building itself works as a pedagogical tool, unfolding numerous possibilities for experimentation based on 21st century learning skills, defined as science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.


Here the flexible design can change from day to day to ensure optimum conditions for lifelong learning based on students' natural curiosity and creativity, where the physical environment actively supports and strengthens children's ability to learn and solve solutions to specific problems


Furthermore, the architecture reflects the pedagogical vision of "seamless" transitions between age, subject and teaching. The open view between the different activities in the building will become the driving force for a synergy, where pupils, teachers and people in general are inspired by each other.


The overall structure of the school and community center is created as a grid, which can integrate a number of elements and functional requirements without compromising the overall architectural concept.


Outside, the structure weaves into the surrounding area with a variation of open, semi-open and closed features, creating a playful transparency that invites both nature and people inside. Here, the Learning Loop – a vertical connection of stairs and pathways for climbing – unites smaller and larger atriums, which offers access to exhibition areas, fab-labs and maker-spaces.


Inside, the open grid structure creates a wealth of possibilities for exhibiting projects, experimenting with materials and models, and for physical exercises on the stairs and climbing routes that stretches up through the building.


The material pallet of Nærheden School plays with a contemporary interpretation of texture and colour. The façade is a composition of concrete, dark red/brown perforated and non-perforated anodized aluminum panels, wood panels and large glass openings, where exposed steel constructions are defining the grid structure of the building.


Inside, the ceilings are made of perforated steel panels and acoustic cement-bounded wood wool panels in a light colour, and the floors are of polished concrete, wood or red/brown PU flooring. The inside walls are made of exposed concrete and plywood.

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