As part of the complete renovation of Bellahøj School in Copenhagen, Kragh&Berglund has created an innovative landscape for learning and play. These new outdoor areas connect the new and existing buildings and forge new relationships in the school’s architectural ensemble. They also offer the students a whole new set of possibilities for recreation. By collaborating with researchers from the University of Southern Denmark who organized workshops for the children attending the school, we made sure that the project was based on their wishes and ideas.
The school’s profile emphasizes physical education and sports and we wanted to reflect this theme in the design of the outdoor areas. The new schoolyard has been equipped with running tracks, a field of artificial grass, playing fields and different zones for physical activities. The project also prioritized the creation of good conditions for outdoor teaching, and these quieter areas intended for breaks and learning contain facilities for exhibiting the students’ artwork.
The intention behind the landscape is to connect the school’s four new buildings and create a link between the old and the new. The new landscape is a continuation of the existing areas and removing the fence between the school’s outdoor areas and their surroundings will merge the two. The large trees will be preserved, but in the places where new entry points are being established, the dense scrubs will be thinned to provide visibility and a sense of safety.
The light blue “delta” flows like a river through the area and connects its various facilities. It also contains the new 100 m. running track whose elongated form provides better practice opportunities. Beyond the start and finish line, the running track dissolves into the main track where it is possible to let off steam before the tracks turn into the square Æstetiktorvet and the playground.
Æstetiktorvet contains open spaces designed to be used for teaching art classes. Here students can park their bikes, and everything is paved in one level in order to create easy access to the Villa building. Some of the existing pavement and the little paved bubbles have been preserved, and green openings ensure the area has spaces of all sizes as well as green recesses for play and rest. The green openings also help harvest rainwater. “The rubber mountains” – an area dotted with little hills paved with rubber flooring and equipment for balancing and climbing – faciliyate the transition between the delta and the playground.
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Start/end year(s): 2016-2020
Area: 13,800 m2
Contact: Birgitte Skak-Iversen, project manager, (#) 20333198, (@) email@example.com
Cost of construction: 12,000,000 DKK
Fee: 800,000 DKK
Partner: KANT, EFFEKT
Architecture offices involved in the design: KANT, EFFEKT
Svenskelejren 18, 2700 Copenhagen, Denmark
Design year: 2016
Year Built: 2020