When looking at a map of Copenhagen, there is a distinctive star-shaped fortress northeast of the historic city center. The (sometimes headless) mermaid is near this fortified landmark, a vestige of King Christian IV’s military ambitions, along with rows of yellow baracks and Denmark’s oldest school, the Sølvgades School. The school is situated between the star-shaped fortress and large public gardens; there C.F. Møller Architects has recently completed a renovation and addition to the school.
Like a patchwork quilt, the addition breaks with the pattern of the surrounding urban fabric while adhering to the confines of existing datums. Along with providing some needed programmed space to students, the building gives the neighborhood a new kind of diversity, a fact punctuated by the colorful and glazed facade that runs along Kronprinsessegade. But this side of the building is more than just a pretty face. According to the architect’s website:
The unusual double layering of the façade creates a highly insulated building, minimizes traffic noise, and functions as vent stack for natural ventilation. The hybrid ventilation concept combines natural and mechanical ventilation to minimize the use of energy and create the optimal indoor climate crucial to a learning environment.