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Interviews about and case studies of learning environments of tomorrow

Learning Spaces

Contents Learning Spaces Architecture in Motion

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An introduction to the historical and architectural development of the educational institutions of Denmark. 50 Years' Experience


Director and Partner Louis Becker gives an overview of the company's approach to educational buildings in the past, present and future. Community Across


Rector of University College SjĂŚlland, Ulla W. Koch, talks about how the new buildings enhance the study environment. Sustainability in Educational Buildings Henning Larsen Architects' Sustainability Department is part of every project ensuring healthy, sustainable and low-energy-use educational buildings.


Playing with Light Anne Iversen, Ph.D., explains the importance and value of working with daylight. Anne is Henning Larsen Architects' in-house expert on natural and artificial light.


The History of Educational Buildings


Learning Spaces in the Making


About Us and Contact


When creating buildings, we focus on the interaction between people. To shape spaces that support and give inspiration to the teaching strategies is our main goal. - Louis Becker, Director and Partner, Henning Larsen Architects

Learning Spaces The design and development of educational institutions has been a defining focus in the history of Henning Larsen Architects; founder Henning Larsen– as well as anumber of his earliest employees– were also engaged in teaching positions at the Royal Academy. The company won its first design competition in 1960. It was a proposal for a modern elementary school in Roskilde, Denmark. The assignment that followed became the first life nerve of the firm.

Among Henning Larsen Architects' recent Danish projects, three of the most significant are: the University of Southern Denmark’s new campus in Kolding; a campus in Roskilde which consolidates University College Sjælland's professional Bachelor’s programs; and, Moesgaard Museum, a new museum and research facility for archaeology and ethnography at Aarhus University. Henning Larsen Architects' vast, international experience allows our projects to evolve from an atmosphere of cross-cultural inspiration. Currently, the company is detailing buildings in more than 20 countries. Among these are the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany; Campus Aas – a large university and research facility in Norway; and, the state-of-theart Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Saudi Arabia. Well-functioning spaces for learning support and inspire today's pre-eminent teaching strategies. Students, teachers and researchers should feel uplifted by their physical surroundings. A successful educational building enriches its users, fosters affiliation and improves the daily function of students and teachers.

Learning Spaces

From its founding, the firm's relation to the educational world has closely tied us to the development of the profession and to new thoughts and impulses that contribute to the constant evolution of architecture.


Henning Larsen Architects has more than 50 years of experience in designing and detailing different types of educational buildings and learning environments. Our projects vary in scale and function; from daycare centers, primary and secondary schools and high schools, to universities and research institutes.

Moesgaard Museum at Aarhus University

Learning Spaces


Moesgaard Museum at Aarhus University Location: Aarhus, Denmark Year of construction: 2010 - 2013 Gross floor area: 16,000 m2 The new facilities at Moesgaard accommodate archaeological and ethnographic exhibitions, special and student exhibitions, an auditorium, conference rooms, a public cafÊ, and a gift shop. Outside, the grass-covered roof functions as a park, where visitors can enjoy the view of the forest, the ocean, and the beautiful landscape surrounding Moesgaard Manor – the historic former home of Moesgaard Museum. The building is home to researchers and administrative personnel of the University of Aarhus' Department of Culture and Society, the Anthropology and Archaeology departments.

Ume책 School of Architecture

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Ume책 School of Architecture Location: Ume책, Sweden Year of construction: 2007-2010 Gross floor area: 5,000 m2 As a growth centre for the architecture of the future, Ume책 School of Architecture provides the framework for inspiration and innovation. From the outside, the building has a cubic expression with square windows placed in a vibrant, rhythmic sequence on all sides of its larch facades. The interior space of the building is designed as a dynamic sequence of stairs and split, open-floor levels where classrooms are designed as abstract, white boxes that hang freely from the ceiling, filtering the light coming in through the high skylights. The design supports the opportunity for mutual inspiration and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and ideas between the students.

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In the future, the borders of educational buildings will blur. Learning facilities will be a more integrated part of the surrounding society. - Louis Becker, Director and Partner, Henning Larsen Architects

Architecture in Motion Whether you are building for kindergarten kids or hydrogen researchers, educational buildings are all about creating a space which invites absorption and focus, cooperation, and dialogue – and which also provides areas for both the group and the individual.

"People are in focus in Trondheim University. The covered town offers the opportunity to gather outside lectures in a comfortable climate that extends the otherwise brief Norwegian summer. The town plan promotes random encounters between people and across disciplines, which gives a feeling of being together in a diverse university environment that beats with common pulse," explains Louis Becker, Director and Partner at Henning Larsen Architects. He continues: "The central theme in our building is—and has always been—to encourage encounters between people and to create a space that inspires and starts a dialogue between pedagogical strategies. In many of our current buildings, the spatial experience is of a ‘town within a town,’ where the walking lines are broken to create a more varied urban spatiality."

Learning Spaces

Henning Larsen’s University in Trondheim from 1978 is one of the earliest examples of this. The main street, which connects the whole university, becomes an active zone with spaces for both the collective and the individual. From that main street, life runs to the rest of the building complex. The university is designed from a modern perspective, and many of the principles it implements are still used in our current educational projects.

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Architects’ ideas about spaces that promote learning and sense of community have taken many forms over the years. The first educational campuses consisted of a number of individual buildings with connecting passages between them. Especially in Scandinavia, the character of this typology was radically implemented as a glass-covered town with streets and squares.

Louis Becker is Director and Partner at Henning Larsen Architects.

Trondheim University dates back to 1978, but its design vision of a covered city is still well-functioning

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and inspiring today.

"Learning environments must include areas for absorption and zones for communication. The architecture should consider both students' and teachers' needs to alternate between different forms of learning and working. Many of our buildings are based in a clear organization that stages the schools' many contact points and the interaction between the various user groups and across departments, faculties and disciplines," explains Becker. An example of this is the new Campus Kolding at the University of Southern Denmark. The classrooms and offices are located along the facades on the upper floors and connected by a large atrium, where the movement to and from the educational spaces is the central focus. The staircase and large landings create places for informal meetings between students and teachers. Henning Larsen Architects' most important tool and resource in the creation of learning spaces is daylight. Light is one of the most vital factors for learning. Daylight creates a sense of well-being and enjoyment of life, but it also helps to improve our focus and performance. "Depending on the context, we work with daylight in many different ways. In primary schools or creative institutions we use the changing nature of daylight to stimulate creativity and playful learning. At universities and institutes of higher education, we ensure a more even distribution of light that is pulled far into classrooms, providing ideal conditions for reading and studying," says Louis Becker. In recent years, there has been a tendency in the construction of educational buildings towards a more commercial look. Today it is very common that

adults seek further professional training, and educational institutions are therefore designed to also accommodate conferences, entertainment events and other activities from the business sector. Furthermore, when companies build new offices, they seek to create spaces that accommodate learning, creativity and knowledge sharing. "In the future we will see educational buildings with blurred boundaries– boundaries between home study and teaching, between work and education, between formal and informal learning, etc.– will be minimised in favor of a total learning environment. Educational buildings will furthermore become an integrated part of the surrounding community," predicts Louis Becker.

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An example of this dissolution of boundaries is the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, which is currently under construction. Two rows of high building volumes create an elongated, public space between them. The new facility will be the school's natural gathering point, and will provide a framework for an open and inviting learning environment.

Learning Spaces

From the central core, there is a view to the central business district of Frankfurt. This connection helps to strengthen the link between the academic and business environments and helps the students' understanding of challenges and opportunities in the business sector. "I believe that learning is something that greatly develops in interaction with others. So even if the trend is in the direction of increasing digitization and long-distance education, I am convinced that physical learning spaces that create interactions between people are always needed," says Louis Becker. "The physical learning environment can be something better than the experience of e-learning. Physical learning spaces can support what goes on between the lines and between people. Educational buildings should help to stimulate this inter-personal and interdisciplinary space, now and in the future."

The Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is an example of a building connecting with the city. Find more about the case in the catalogue.

Learning Spaces

18 | Trondheim University Trondheim, Norway

Freie Universität Berlin Berlin, Germany


1965 Primary School Roskilde, Denmark

Roskilde University Center Roskilde, Denmark

IT University Copenhagen, Denmark




1982 Høje-Taastrup High School Høje-Taastrup, Denmark

University of Plymouth Plymouth, United Kingdom

Copenhagen Business School Frederiksberg, Denmark

Frederiksberg Upper Secondary School Frederiksberg, Denmark

Jåttå Vocational School Stavanger, Norway

50 Years' Experience Henning Larsen Architects has designed educational facilities since the foundation of the company in 1959. Though decades have passed since the opening of the first Henning Larsen-designed university, putting people first has been a unifying principle in all of the firm's subsequent educational buildings. Daylight and community-creating spaces continue to be key components in our designs. Below is a visual overview of some of the educational institutions Henning Larsen Architects has designed over the past 50 years.

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Umeå School of Architecture Umeå, Sweden

City Campus Aalborg Aalborg, Denmark

Daycare Center - Saxtorphsvej Valby, Denmark



Get an overview of future projects on p. 68

2012 Ringsted High School Ringsted, Denmark

Reykjavík University Reykjavík, Iceland

Campus Roskilde Roskilde, Denmark

SDU Campus Kolding Kolding, Denmark

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Daycare Center - Bernts Have Holbæk, Denmark

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

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Frankfurt School of Finance & Management Location: Frankfurt, Germany Year of construction: 2013 - 2016 Gross floor area: 42,000 m2 The Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is a private business school based in one of Europe’s leading financial centers. The architecture of the building encourages students to interact with the surrounding city; lecture rooms and conference facilities are situated adjacent to the library, canteen and shops – functions within the campus buildings which are open to the public. The link between the new school and Frankfurt’s central business district will strengthen the connection between the academic and commercial environments and improve students’ understanding of the challenges and opportunities in business.

IT University

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IT University Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Year of construction: 2001 - 2004 Gross floor area: 19,000 m2 IT University is arranged around a large central atrium. In a dynamic composition, a number of meeting rooms, designed as corbelled boxes – like extracted drawers of various sizes – push into the space of the atrium from every level. The ground floor holds all the common facilities including lecture halls, student café, canteen and library. All research and teaching areas are located on the upper floors. There are teaching facilities in open study areas surrounding the atrium and research departments in the less active zones at both ends of the building.

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Campus Roskilde, located a stone’s throw from Roskilde University, houses bachelor programs ranging from Education and Social Work to Nursing and Pedagogy. The vision of the project has been to offer the students the feeling of being a part of a unified and multi-faceted university environment.

Learning Spaces

How does Campus Roskilde differ from other buildings built with the same purpose? What is special about this building is the great flexibility achieved although we have so few square meters compared to other buildings, as well as the number of students we have. There are over 3,000 students at Campus Roskilde but even though the total area is small, it does not feel as if there is less space. There are neither permanent workplaces for the employees nor permanent classrooms for the students. Only a few classrooms are specifically designed for one course, leaving the others flexible so that all six departments can use virtually any classroom. Did you as a rector have a lot of influence on how the building was designed? I believe that it is important for students to feel that they are a part of a community – both physically and psychologically. That is why it was important for me to have a building where students could work across subjects and see each other. In order to provide a high degree of flexibility, it was important for me to create a lot of different workplaces for both students and employees, which could also provide a sense of community. And every time I step into the building I see this dream coming true – everyone is seated just the way I had imagined.

Ulla Koch was appointed rector at University College Sjælland in 2007. She has been part of the entire process of erecting the new campus.

In this short video interview, Rector Ulla Koch shows us around at Campus Roskilde. Click the image

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to watch.

At the same time it was important both for me and the management that this building works optimally both in terms of aesthetics and function. To create a comfortable study environment Henning Larsen Architects was asked to design the interior solutions. They have created a unique environment with unique solutions such as the black cubes which the students use for group work and I use for meetings. The cubes are enclosed so you feel a bit shielded from the outside, but still feel like a part of life in the building. How do architecture, education, and context come together in Campus Roskilde? It was a conscious decision from our part to place Campus Roskilde near Roskilde University - RUC. Our own building is intended as a stage for sharing knowledge across disciplines, and we also like that kind of knowledge sharing across institutions. It can be both professionally and socially, where our students take a course over the RUC or vice versa. At the same time, we have, as management, a very good cooperation with RUC and it is supported by the context. What reactions have you gotten to the new environment from the students and teachers? To create a building without permanent workplaces for employees or permanent classrooms for students is the basis for the flexibility and the knowledge sharing we find essential in educational buildings. But it is also change of culture for teachers and students who otherwise are accustomed to fixed workstations and meeting rooms. The students, who are entering a completely new context, have been more open to new transparency of building, and with time, I also believe that employees will see the profitable aspects. Already now our users are proud to be representatives of the new building.

Campus Roskilde

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Campus Roskilde Location: Roskilde, Denmark Year of construction: 2010 - 2012 Gross floor area: 20,000 m2 Campus Roskilde consists of four square buildings – slightly rotated towards each other to screen the area from the adjacent motorway and create a more intimate, varied space around the campus square. The new campus will facilitate dialogue and informal meetings and provide students with a feeling of being part of a cohesive but multi-disciplinary university environment. Under the overhang of the main building, a roofed square will open up to the rest of the campus area and create life and a sense of community among the students.

SDU Campus Kolding

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SDU Campus Kolding Location: Kolding, Denmark Year of construction: 2012 - 2014 Gross floor area: 13,700 m2 With its triangular shape, Campus Kolding at the University of Southern Denmark creates a significant new landmark in Kolding. As the new learning center of excellence, Campus Kolding houses courses in communications, design, culture and languages. Inside in the five-floor-high atrium, the displaced position of the staircases and balconies creates a special dynamic, the triangular shape repeating, and continually shifing its position up through the different floors.

Sustainability in Educational Buildings

Learning Spaces

Our educational institutions frame the personal development and education of our children and young people. They frame learning environments that stimulate the pupils' curiosity and eagerness to learn. This is where the foundation stones of our common, sustainable future are laid. Thus, the educational buildings we create must exemplify robust, sustainable solutions that meet future needs both socially, environmentally and economically. A building should operate with low energy consumption and offer a healthy, bright and inspiring indoor climate.

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Sustainability is more than CO2 calculations and roof-mounted solar panels. Partner and Architect Signe Kongebro explains Henning Larsen Architects’ approach to the sustainable design of educational buildings, in which social sustainability plays a large part.

Partner and Architect, Signe Kongebro, is Head of Henning Larsen Architects' Sustainability Department.

One of the key elements in achieving a good indoor climate is daylight. When utilized wisely, daylight can improve students' wellbeing and indoor experience as well as reduce the building's level of energy consumption. Research proves that the right amount of daylight helps students to learn faster and achieve better results (World Green Building Council, 2013). The correct use of daylight supports our children's intellectual development. Furthermore, daylight is a rich resource when it comes to designing a dynamic learning environment with great variation in intensity of light, color rendering, orientation and movement of light through the space. This dynamic influences our experience of space, time and colors as well as our motivation and ability to learn and be creative. In Umeå School of Architecture daylight has been utilized to create a dynamic and creative learning environment. The design of the façade allows for the daylight to enter the building through windows of various sizes, thus creating an ever-changing inflow of daylight. At the University

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of Southern Denmark's Campus Kolding, we worked with dynamic solar shading mounted to the façade. The automatic shading system adjusts according to the exterior daylight conditions and creates a comfortable indoor environment all day and all year round. The skylight above the large atrium brings daylight into the core of the building. These institutions are both examples of what is possible when daylight is considered in the very first phases of the design process. Having a dialogue with the students about sustainable topics is another important element to our approach. This was the focal point when designing a new campus for Lillebaelt Academy in Odense. In this building, the students will be introduced to innovative installations, constructions, and materials, and work with them on an everyday basis. The different solutions are integrated all over the building in ways that make it easy to access and study them from different perspectives. Furthermore the students will be involved in the sustainable operation of the school and adjacent outdoor areas. This of course is for the sake of the environment, but it is also for the sake of the students; they will get an understanding of the importance of sustainable solutions from very early on in their studies. The expectation is that this will equip them to come up with smart solutions in their future work lives. Up until now, the team behind the project has been working on several solutions and options for integrated teaching initiatives. One of them is called “Inspect the solar panels.” It is a project that offers students access to the building's solar installations. Another solution experiments with phytoremediation – plants’ ability to clean polluted soil. This project enables the students to harvest and analyze the amount of toxic content in the plant residues and closely follow the process of cleaning a former industrial site by using plants. Social sustainability was also the centre of discussions when designing Campus Roskilde. An open and transparent building, it gathers students who were previously located at different buildings an campuses. This facility, in many senses, set the agenda for future educational environments especially because of its flexibility and the opportunities for cross-disciplinary activities. Without fixed classrooms, students move around campus according to their subjects and needs. Likewise, the Rector doesn’t have her own office; she utilizes the open work places and reserves meeting rooms under the same conditions as the students. The open plan solution gathers all students in the large atrium and supports the feeling

of community and equal status while ensuring an efficient use of square meters. The economic and environmental aspects of sustainable educational building are also evident in the energy consumption of the building. If sustainable solutions are part of the design process from the very early stages, enormous savings can be gained from the energy consumption level. Campus Kolding is Denmark’s first university building that meets the demands of the 2015 national building regulations. It has an energy consumption of only 38 kWh/m2/year. This is due to smart use of geometry, orientation, daylight and materials.

Learning Spaces

Sustainability has many ramifications. In today's complex landscape, we believe that the most important thing to keep in mind is creating synergy between the quantitative and qualitative components of building design. The energy-saving indoor climate should go hand-in-hand with good learning environments. By utilizing existing resources more efficiently, this is actually possible. Smart use of daylight, for instance, has a direct impact on the actual sensed indoor climate, energy consumption, and the wellbeing of students and teachers and their impression of the spaces.

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The geometry and indoor organization of the building ensure the floor area to be optimally utilized. Our calculations of the total energy consumption level of the building together with changes in the indoor climate at different places around the building have guided us in the design stages. Furthermore the building has been part of a three-year-long development project, testing the thermal properties of concrete. In every floor, the concrete is exposed allowing it to accumulate heat and cold. The concrete slabs help adjust the temperature by collecting and releasing heat according to the present indoor temperature. This means that the necessity for mechanical cooling and heating is decreased.

Art Museum at Ume책 University

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Umeå Art Museum Location: Umeå, Sweden Year of construction: 2009 - 2011 Gross floor area: 3,500 m2 The Art Museum, Bildmuseet, at Umeå University is situated at the new Arts Campus by Henning Larsen Architects along the Umeå River. The consolidation of artistic institutes and exhibition facilities is based on a close collaboration between various companies with a view to allow art, design and architecture to benefit from one another. The tower comprises three exhibition halls placed upon each other - with inserted floor plans featuring the auditorium, children’s workshops and administration.

Playing with Light 49 |

Light is one of the most important factors in the learning process. Just as the new Danish school reform invites playful methods of learning, buildings for schoolchildren should also incorporate light to stimulate creativity

Learning Spaces

This is the message in an article written for the magazine “LYS” ("LIGHT") by Anne Iversen and Jakob Strømann-Andersen, both of Henning Larsen Architects' Sustainability Department. The Danish public school reform sets the scene for playful learning, in which teaching no longer takes the shape of one-way communication from teachers to pupils, but rather encourages varied and diverse learning methods in reading corners, on the playground and across different subjects. This requires that the design and construction of educational facilities move in new directions. “A school or a classroom should not shut out expressions from the outside world. Rather, it should be a place where inspiration and diversity is cultivated,” says Anne Iversen, Ph.D. and Civil Engineer.

Anne Iversen holds an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and specializes in energy-efficient building with emphasis on daylight performance. She is engaged

“Children should be offered the opportunity to sit on the windowsill and enjoy a book in the sun. At the same time, it should also be possible to find a quiet corner, in which it is possible to draw back a little from both light and outside activities,” she elaborates. In connection with the design for the Frederiksbjerg School, which is currently under construction in Aarhus, emphasis has been on daylight as a dynamic light source, constantly shifting in intensity and direction. Specifically, gradation of window sizes has been incorporated in the design

with Henning Larsen Architects' Sustainability Department.

The new daycare center "Drivhuset" in Copenhagen is designed to encourage play and learning through various types of spatial and day-

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light experiences.

of the façade – windows are bigger in the middle, smaller on top and smallest at street-level. The larger middle windows provide a panoramic view of the outside life: the school’s green courtyard on one side, and the urban space on the other. The top windows ensure an even light that is drawn far into the building, while the smaller windows below create window nooks in which the children can read and play. Similar façades have been implemented in the design of the daycare facilities at Drivhuset in Coepnhagen and the Umeå School of Architecture, both schools highly valued by their users. According to Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Ph.D. and Lead Engineer with Henning Larsen Architects, it is possible to create façades that allow for evenly-distributed, high levels of daylight to enter the building. However, it is not only the amount of light that is important. “Educational facilities with such traditional façades indicate a lack of understanding of how the dynamics of light also influence how children experience colors, space and time, as well as their desire and ability to actively engage in learning,” he says, adding: “Just as the reform of the Danish school system sets the scene for diversity in learning methods, the construction of educational facilities should also emphasize diversity in, for instance, light intensity, colour reproduction and the variation of daylight throughout the day.”

City Campus Aalborg

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City Campus Aalborg Location: Aalborg, Denmark Year of construction: 2012 - 2014 Gross floor area: 20,000 m2 The new City Campus Aalborg is the result of Aalborg Municipality’s significant investments in education. The building is organized around an open central atrium and a large, south-facing outdoor courtyard, which is connected to the interior environment with several large windows, creating cohesion between the internal and external activities of the square. The building accommodates 900 students, permanent staff and researchers in the creative areas of study.

ReykjavĂ­k University

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Reykjavík University Location: Reykjavík, Iceland Year of construction: 2007 - 2010 Gross floor area: 90,000 m2 Reykjavík University consolidates the formerly disparate university functions at one campus in the southern part of the city. The project realizes the idea of the university as a city, allowing the individual departments to be organized as independent quarters around a uniting, inner hub. The hub provides access to all the university departments while housing the common university facilities such as café, restaurants, art gallery, gym, bookshop, nursery, library, etc. Thus, a lively urban scene is created in the building – a vibrant centre that generates life and radiates its energy to the surrounding streets.

The Danish Model 1814 The Folkeskole was founded in 1814, and, at that time, all children were given the right to seven years of education. Desk teaching was the only teaching form. In the city, new schools were built; in the countryside schools were fitted into the teacher's home.


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Changes to the Education Act in 1937 resulted in the construction of many large 'central schools.' They were located to support equal opportunities for children living in cities and in the countryside. The new schools focused on the practical application of theory, thus dedicated subject rooms were highly prioritized.

1990 Throughout the '80s and '90s, computers and creative subjects were integrated into the curriculum. Project work became a common teaching form and enabled the pupils to study all over the school, which soon took shape of a city within the city with open areas for unplanned meetings and group work.

2014 In the beginning of the 21st century, a number of comprehensive changes to the Education Act have already been implemented. Teaching forms are influenced by technology, and school architecture has taken on a much more flexible character as children should now be in school for at least 30 hours a week.

The History of Educational Buildings The architecture of educational institutions reflects trending thoughts on how students are not only taught core academic subjects, but brought up holistically to become well-rounded human beings and good citizens.

The first municipal schools were designed as park-like structures with inspiration from the pavilion hospitals of the time. It was commonly known that daylight, fresh air and cleanliness could eliminate the risk of infection, thus these principles from hospital and sanatorium design were implemented in the municipal schools. These ideas found expression in the construction of the school buildings. Corners were rounded in order for them to be easily cleaned. Chalkboards were painted directly onto the walls, so that dust and dirt couldn’t stick to their frames and backsides. Furthermore, large windows ensured a high level of daylight and frsh air in the building. In the mid-1920s, a new typology emerged, superseding the previously dominant corridor building typology. The new form centered the classrooms

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In its early stages the municipal school was marked by authoritarian teaching principles. The teacher taught from a podium in the classroom as a symbol of his sovereignty and power. Only he decided what to be taught and how to teach; the children’s learning was not the greatest concern at that time. Schools were sources of infection and a great threat to the local society due to spread of such contagious diseases as tuberculosis. It soon became the architects’ responsibility to design new, healthy municipal schools.

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The Danish Folkeskole (municipal school) is a type of school covering the entire period of compulsory education, from the age of six to 16, encompassing pre-school, primary, and lower secondary education. For more than 200 years the Folkeskole has provided compulsory, but free education to all children. And for more than 200 years the architecture of learning environments has developed according to prevalent didactics and teaching principles.

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around a large assembly hall, the aula. It took the modernist ideology with its precepts of light and air as key components of healthy spaces even further, and presented organically shaped and richly ornamented inspiring spaces never seen before in school architecture. In the '50s and '60s, village schools were updated and centralized, placing them strategically between villages. The so-called ‘central schools’ were designed with particular focus on practical rooms. Now was the time for the pupils to activate their theoretical knowledge and learn through their own experiences. The ‘central schools’ added a great deal of value to the local community. After school hours, the buildings were utilized for evening classes and different kinds of volunteer activities. In 1967, corporal punishment was abolished, and the youth rebellion in western countries fostered a culture where children should be treated as individuals, the personal development of whom was also a concern of the school. Children ought to be reared as democratic citizens, thus the municipal school was democratized as well. As a result of this, school councils and parent-led school boards were established. Simultaneously, teaching principles shifted in focus from individual learning methods to project- and group-related work. Heavy desks were replaced with light, easily movable furniture, but the inflexibility of the school buildings still couldn’t accommodate the didactic shift. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, schools developed towards more project-oriented work and teaching forms, becoming what we know today. Nowadays, pupils are taught to become independent, creative entrepreneurs. They must be capable of identifying and solving a problem and are responsible for their own learning—school architecture must reflect that flexibility and focus. Keywords are openness, transparency and innovation. School libraries are no longer libraries only, but pedagogical development centers framing both group work and individual absorption, while providing the opportunity to search for new knowledge in print and digital media. In many ways, the classroom has not changed, but classroom teaching is supplemented by methods that yet again set new demands for the physical shaping and functionality of the architecture.

Learning Spaces in the Making

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Many places in the world today are experiencing a growth within the educational sector. Henning Larsen Architects is among the leading companies offering international learning and research facilities of high architectural quality. Here is a look into future projects:

Prince Naif Center for Health Science Research Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

ZSW Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Stuttgart, Germany

New School at Frederiksbjerg Aarhus, Denmark

Campus Aas Aas, Norway


2014 Institute of Diplomatic Studies Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2018 Frankfurt School of Finance & Management Frankfurt, Germany

New Campus: Lillebaelt Academy Odense, Denmark

ESS - European Spallation Source Lund, Sweden

Campus Aas

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Campus Aas Location: Aas, Norway Year of construction: 2015 - 2018 Gross floor area: 63,000 m2 The new Campus Aas merges the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) with the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science (NVH) and the National Veterinary Institute of Norway (NVI). The vision for the project is to facilitate close interaction between the various educational and research institutions, promoting knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research fields. Campus Aas is a highly complex facility, comprising BSL-2 and BSL-3 laboratories and a veterinary hospital. In addition, the new campus will feature state-of-the art teaching and office spaces as well as meeting and student facilities.

ESS - European Spallation Source

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ESS - European Spallation Source Location: Lund, Sweden Year of construction: 2013 - 2019 Gross floor area: 100,000 m2 ESS - European Spallation Source will be a research campus with a more than 600 -meter-long proton accelerator and a 180-meter-long hall in which the protons hit a target and send neutrons off to a number of halls with measuring instruments. ESS will also provide a number of facilities for researchers: general laboratories (15,000 m2), offices and a lecture hall. At ESS, researchers will work in a setting that supports meetings across disciplines and research fields. In the many atriums on campus, visiting researchers will be able to meet each other informally, inspire each other, exchange ideas and share their knowledge.


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Director and Partner Louis Becker Tel: +45 8233 3020 / +45 2715 0220

International Business Development Amalia Gonzales Dahl Tel: +45 8231 3101 / +45 6035 2101

Credits Layout and text | Josefine Lykke Jensen, Morten Schjødt-Pedersen, Marie Houlberg Abildhauge Olesen, Anna Brandt Østerby, Maria Rebsdorf Rostved TRANSLATION | Josefine Lykke Jensen, Tue Kræmer Larsen Proof reading | Natalie Jeffers-Hansen PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATIONS | Adam Mørk (front cover, p. 18, 24-27), Agnete Schlichtkrull (p. 15, 41, 49, back cover), Arne Carlsen/Jens Frederiksen (p. 18), Bragi Þór Jósefsson (p. 19, 56-59), David Barbour (p. 18), Jens Frederiksen (p. 18), Jens Lindhe (p. 18), Kontraframe (p. 18-19, 28-35, 48, 50-51, 60, 63, 74), Martin Schubert (p. 6-8, 19, 36-40, 52-55), Nicolaj Bak Christiansen (p. 18), Peter Jarvad (p. 19), Øhlander (p. 16, 18), Åke E:son Lindman (p. 10-13, 19, 44-47) Other illustrations: Henning Larsen Architects COLLABORATORS | Art Museum at Umeå University; White Arkitekter, Tyréns, WSP Group, TM-Konsult Campus Roskilde; Cowi, Thing & Wainø, Enemærke og Pedersen Campus Aas; Økaw Arkitekter, Link Landskap, NNE Pharmaplan, Multiconsult, Hjellnes Consult City Campus Aalborg; A. Enggaard, Cowi ESS - European Spallation Source; COBE, SLA, Buro Happold, NNE Pharmaplan, Transsolar, Bent Lauritzen, DTU Nutech Frankfurt School of Finance and Management; Innius RR, Werner Sobek, Transsolar Institute of Diplomatic Studies; Buro Happold, Geoffrey Barnett Associates New School at Frederiksbjerg; Hoffmann, GPP Architects, Møller & Grønborg, Niras Moesgaard Museum at Aarhus University; Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, Cowi, D-K2, MT Højgaard, Lindpro New Campus: Lillebaelt Academy; A. Enggaard, Midtconsult, SLA Prince Naif Centre for Health Science Research; NNE Pharmaplan, Buro Happold, Geoffrey Barnett Associates SDU Kolding Campus; Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, Orbicon Umeå School of Architecture; White Arkitekter, Rambøll Sweden, TM-Konsult, LPS Konstruktörer ZSW Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research; Transsolar, Knippers Helbig og ZWP Ingenieur AG

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Learning Spaces by Henning Larsen Architects  
Learning Spaces by Henning Larsen Architects  

Interviews about and case studies of learning environments of tomorrow