Expansion at GL. Hellerup Gymnasium

Following the completion of the Gammel Hellerup High School multi-purpose hall designed by BIG, a new 1400 sqm building for cultural activities has been inaugurated on May 11th.

BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group,  GHG, Hellerup, Denmark. Photo Rasmus Hjortsho
Designed by BIG, the 1100 sqm multi-purpose hall and the latest two-level addition to Gammel Hellerup High School just north of Copenhagen, provides existing students with generous spaces for social and creative unfolding, while increasing the capacity of the school in response to its growing popularity.
Originally a building adjacent to the campus, the gymnasium facilities became insufficient; Gammel Hellerup High School lacked a large multi-functional space for physical activities, graduation ceremonies and social gatherings.
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group,  GHG, Hellerup, Denmark. Photo Rasmus Hjortsho
Top: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, GHG Sports Field, Sunken Entrance to Classrooms. Photo Jens Lindhe. Above: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, GHG, Hellerup, Denmark. Photo Rasmus Hjortsho
In response, BIG designed a multi-purpose hall for the physical education and social development of the students, drawing its signature curve from the physics of a handball being thrown. Placed 5 meters 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 softlycurved 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. The shape of the roof is based on the formula for a ballistic arc.
During the construction of the hall, the school planned a new building, located between the school’s multi-purpose hall and adjacent football fields. This new arts building seeks to connect the sports areas with the gymnasium’s existing educational facilities in one continuous flow.
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, GHG, Hellerup, Denmark. Photo Iwan Baan
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, GHG, Hellerup, Denmark. Photo Iwan Baan

By placing parts of the new building beneath the football fields, the students are able to walk through the sunken sports hall at the center of the school’s courtyard, to the classrooms, cafeteria, and out to the main entrance at street level. Additionally, the new facilities situated underground form the roof of the new arts building, extending the football fields into a green carpet for informal activity and to serve as informal seating overlooking future sporting events.

Construction materials and finishes known from the multi-purpose hall are integrated in reverse – where the sports hall is a sandwich of wood above and below with walls of concrete, the classrooms are the opposite – wooden walls spanning between concrete surfaces above and below. The continuity and repetition of the materials creates a coherent visual identity for the school.

GHG, Hellerup, Denmark
Program: educational building
Architects: BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group
Project Leaders Multi-Use Hall & Gymnasium: Ole Schrøder, Ole Elkjær-Larsen, Frederik Lyng
Team Multi-Use Hall & Gymnasium: Ana Merino, Anders Hjortnæs, Christian Alvarez, Dennis Rasmussen, Gül Ertekin, Henrick Poulsen, Hjalti Gestsson, Jan Magasanik, Jakob Lange, Jacob Thomsen, Jeppe Ecklon, Ji-young Yoon, Michael Schønemann, Narisara Schröder, Riccardo Mariano, Rune Hansen, Snorre Nash, Thomas Juul-Jensen, Vincent He, Xu Li
Project Manager Master Plan & Education Building: Ole Elkjær-Larsen
Project Leader Master Plan & Education Building: Tobias Hjortdal
Team Master Plan & Education Building: Agnete Jukneviciute, Ambra Chiesa, Brigitta Gulyás, Dennis Rasmussen, Enea Michelesio, Greta Krenciute, Høgni Laksáfoss, Isabella Eriksson, Jan Magasanik, Mikkel Marcker Stubgaard, Jeppe Ecklon, Kamilla Heskje, Michael Schønemann, Narisara Schröder, Thomas Juul-Jensen
Project Leader Landscape: Ole Elkjær-Larsen
Team Landscape: Brigitta Gulyás, Enea Michelesio, Mikkel Marcker Stubgaard, Narisara Schröder, Tobias Hjortdal
Client: Gammel Hellerup High School
Collaborators: EKJ, CG Jensen, Jens Lindhe, Midconsult I Herning, Bent Nygaard Sørensen, Grontmij
Area: 2,500 sqm
Completion: 2015

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