An alternative school in Denmark gets a fittingly unorthodox renovation.
The democratically run Bernadotte School (Bernadotteskolen in Danish) was founded in 1949 by a group of parents aiming to “break away from the rigidity and authoritarianism of traditional schooling.” Located just outside Copenhagen, the school has grown to fill a motley campus of seven buildings, all originally intended for other purposes. The school takes pride in having packed its disparate buildings with usable space for reading, learning, art, and play; indeed, the architectural diversity “the perfect metaphor for its teaching.” When an addition was finally in order, Danish architects Tegnestuen Vandkunsten created a fittingly distinct modern structure full of adaptable space for the growing school.
Photography by Adam Mørk.
Above: In their sun-splattered new gym, kids recline against a wooden plank wall offset for hidden storage.
Above: The school gym, clearly designed with children’s energy levels in mind.
Above: The gym is designed to accommodate a variety of playtime pursuits, including running, climbing, and swinging from the ceiling.
Above: Colorful pennant flags add childlike whimsy to the otherwise sophisticated architecture.
Above: The slim addition yielded new classrooms, a library, gym, roof terrace, and central playground.
Above: Stainless steel wires intersect on exterior walls as a structure for newly planted climbing vines.
Above: The architects provided a bounty of geometric visual interest, from crisscrossing wires on exterior walls to playing with changes of light throughout the day.
Above: The wood and steel building will soon be covered in climbing vines.
Above: The main school building, at left, is a former fire station. On the right, a former gas station and apartment home.
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