The City Centre School

The City Centre School (in Danish, Midtbyskolen) was conceived and designed as a diverse environment for children and young people, and works in close collaboration with local associations and providers of leisure activities. The vision at the heart of the school is to bring together kindergarten and school, leisure and after-school activities in one single gesture. The design is like an “age-wheel”, in which individual clusters radiate out towards the activity landscape. Pupils start at ground level then, as they grow, move up through the building. By way of support for this concept, the school is united by a large common room, which opens up the building and provides a setting for a strong school community.
In the common room a main staircase rises in a floating spiral movement up through the building. As a learning tool on several levels, the staircase unites the building into a single learning environment, in which natural daylight penetrates right into the common room from the floor-to-ceiling windows along the façade and from the large, round skylight. The interplay between the horizontal and vertical movement of the common room creates a wide range of links and movement options, and a wealth of niches and observation posts in the large common room. 
Contact with the surroundings and exposure to the outdoor areas are high priorities in the school’s design. The close contact with the environment is reflected in the green terraced landscape, which opens the school to its surroundings by enhancing the relationship between indoors and outdoors. This provides excellent recreational options during playtime and makes it possible to include the outdoor space in teaching. In a dynamic flow, starting right down at ground level and ending up on the school’s top floor, the outdoor space winds around the building and unites the green outdoor areas into one eventful whole.