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Reconfiguring the sum of its parts

by Suzanne Miao on Jul 13, 2015 in Architecture
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BIG's design for the new multi-use hall at Gammell Hellrup High School drew its signature curve from the physics of a handball being thrown

BIG's design for the new multi-use hall at Gammell Hellrup High School drew its signature curve from the physics of a handball being thrown

Following the completion of the Gammel Hellerup High School multi-purpose hall designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group in 2013, a new 1,400 sq-m building for cultural activities has just been inaugurated by the school's art and sports enthusiasts

A new two-level addition to Gammel Hellerup High School — set just north of Copenhagen in Denmark — is providing the school's students with generous spaces for social and creative learning, while increasing the capacity of the school in response to its growing popularity. The construction, which started just as a multi-purpose hall designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, was completed
and unveiled in late 2014.

BIG's design created a large multi-functional space for physical activities, graduation ceremonies and social gatherings

BIG’s design created a large multi-functional space for physical activities, graduation ceremonies and social gatherings

"We are all incredibly excited to finalise the last phase of the expansion with a complex that not only provides the necessary space and facilities for our students, but also with abundant opportunities for outdoor adventures," says Jorgen Rasmussen, principal of the Gammel Hellerup High School. "We could not have hoped for a better addition to (our) school."

Originally a building adjacent to the campus, the gymnasium facilities had become insufficient; Gammel Hellerup High School lacked a large multi-functional space for physical activities, graduation ceremonies and social gatherings. In response, BIG's design drew its signature curve from the physics of a handball being thrown.

A sunken entrance to the new arts building; the roof extends the football fields for informal activity and serves as seating overlooking sporting events

A sunken entrance to the new arts building; the roof extends the football fields for informal activity and serves as seating overlooking sporting events

Placed 5m below ground in the school's courtyard, the hall is passively temperature-controlled and does not impose on its context. Above ground, the hall's softly curved roof is an informal meeting place. The edge of the roof is designed as a long social bench, perforated with small windows to provide natural daylighting below.

This is a preview of the “The reconfiguring the sum of its parts" article from the July 2015 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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