The Ørestad College is the latest ‘gymnasium’ (college or upper secondary school) in Copenhagen, built in the Danish capital’s development area; Ørestad. The demographic development in greater Copenhagen has resulted in a remarkable growth of the 16 – 19 year group, with Copenhagen needing 50% more study places, and this led to a decision to build a new college in Ørestad City; the new city centre for the entire Ørestad.
Ørestad College offers fields of study within science, social science and human science. The purpose of the college is to realize the latest reforms (2005) aims to strengthen and renew the students’ professional capabilities, to prepare the students better for university and to enhance the science aspect. This college has chosen a profile of media, communication and culture, and with wireless internet all over the school and with laptops for all students - hence the knick-name the Virtual College.
The brief was deliberately formulated without traditional terms for rooms, and left much to the architects’ interpretation. The proposal was therefore not so much a response to a specifically defined task as an element in the necessary development of the idea of a Danish college.
Four boomerang shaped storey decks rotate in relation to each other like the shutter of a camera. They form the superstructure; the overall framework of the college, and provide space for the college’s four study zones. Each zone is on one level, providing organisational flexibility, with the option of micro adjustment to create different spaces, learning environments and group sizes. The rotation of the storey decks projects a part of each deck into the high central hall. This part is the so called X-zone; a spatial expression of the colleges’ ambition to promote interdisciplinary expertise between study zones with physical and visual links.
The storey decks are open towards a central core, where a broad main staircase winds its way upwards to the roof terrace. The main staircase is the heart of college educational and social life; the primary connection up and down, but also a place to stay, watch and be seen. Three ‘mega columns’ form the primary load bearing system, supplemented by a number of smaller columns positioned according to structural requirement, not as part of a regular grid. As a result, each floor has few permanent elements and can be laid out and rearranged almost completely at will.
The superstructure is supplemented by a series of newly developed ‘room furniture’, which accommodate the need for the flexible and temporary room arrangements and learning environments required by varying group sizes – from one on one to an entire cohort.
The rotated decks are mirrored in the facades. Due to their rotation, the decks create openings double- and triple high while drawing lines on the façade. As a rule, the glass is smooth with the deck fronts, but on each floor, one façade is withdrawn to create an outdoor space. These outdoor spaces are connected from ground to roof. In front of the glass facades, a series of coloured semi-transparent glass louvers can open or close to protect from the sun, while adding dashes of colour to the indoor environment.
One would hope that the building is also energy efficient.
I didn't do much today. This morning I visited Klaudia who lives nearby for a coffee and a pat of Kettles. While I was there, she escaped and climbed up a very tall tree, all while it was raining. Eventually, she climbed back down. Silly kitty.
I caught a few episodes of Moonlight on the net. It's another interesting vampire- detective show. The lead actor was born in Canberra!