How do we transform a courtyard into a new social meeting point?
Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium is, with its characteristic yellow brick buildings, a good example of a school building in a human scale and a fine architectural example of its time. The sports facilities have, however, become too insufficient and the high school is lacking a large, multifunctional space for physical activities, graduation ceremonies and social gatherings. The Gammel Hellerup Gymnasium, a self-owned governmental institution, wishes therefore to build a new flexible hall for the students' usage with a particular focus on sustainability.
The new multi-purpose hall will primarily be for the pupils' physical education and social development. The hall is placed 5 metres below ground in the centre of the school's courtyard which ensures a good indoor climate, low environmental impact and high architectural quality. The characteristic soft curved roof wood construction will act externally as an informal meeting place that can host numerous activities from group work to larger gatherings. The edge of the roof is designed as a long social bench with easy access across the courtyard and is perforated with small windows to ensure the penetration of daylight. Solar panels placed strategically around the existing buildings provide heat for the hall. Opposed to placing the hall outside the school's building – thus spreading the social life even more – the new hall creates a social focal point and connection between the existing facilities of the high school.
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