A modern architectural boost for an old school

Vibenshus School in the Østerbro district of Copenhagen dates back to 1892. Recently, it has been not only extensively renovated but architecturally upgraded with the addition of a simple but very contemporary extension designed by Nova5 Architects.

Vibenhus School
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect MAA

The new extension connects naturally and easily with the existing buildings while retaining its own sense of identity and spaciousness. The library and the EAT-café are situated on the ground floor, near an open square, while classrooms are arranged on both the ground and first floor, which is where office facilities are also located. In addition, a rooftop terrace provides a caged sports pitch and relaxation zones for the older pupils. All the facilities now comply with the latest energy requirements.

Inside, a simple palette of warm and friendly materials has been chosen. For example, the window sections and some wall surfaces are clad in perforated plywood, while concrete surfaces and black door frames contrast well with the warm wooden hues. Large glass sections open up towards the surroundings and allow daylight to flood into the building, with skylights in the corridor providing atmospheric lighting that emphasises the textured surfaces.

Troldtekt panels has been used on all the ceilings and, in addition to ensuring comfortable acoustics, have an attractive surface. The lighting from the panels in the shape of built-in, frosted glass fixtures is elegantly integrated, while round flush lamps are installed on the ceilings in the communal areas and oblong fittings in the classrooms. In all cases, the lamps are carefully positioned on the Troldtekt panels to ensure a coherent and natural look. All this contributes to a design that supports the image of a modern and user-friendly place characterised by simple yet ingenious solutions to provide the best possible conditions for the pupils and the school’s daily activities.