Gammel Hellerup High School Gymnasium + Multipurpose Hall

Project:
Gammel Hellerup High School Gymnasium + Multipurpose Hall
Hellerup, Denmark
12,500 SQ FT
School facility

Year completed: 2013

Project architect: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
Project partners: CG Jensen, EKJ, H. Helbo Hansen A/S

Project summary:
The Gammel Hellerup High School Gymnasium, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is a response to the local high school’s request for a multifunctional space in which its students could engage in physical activities and socialize. Wishing to have the facility placed in its existing courtyard while maintaining sight lines and connectivity with the 1950’s-era school building, BIG’s solution was to build the gymnasium sixteen feet below ground. Inside, sports are the typical activity in the 12,500 square foot space, and the school has experienced an increase in high-caliber athletes applying for admission. The space is also equipped to serve as a multipurpose venue and can accommodate a variety of large group gatherings, from academic to social opportunities.

Incorporating Active Recreation strategies was rather straightforward due to the required program. The innovation came with the implementation of Active Building strategies. The sloping roof of the gymnasium is an accessible, dynamic area for social gatherings and acts a large hilly schoolyard designed with a “molehill” peak. This creative plan transforms a historically underutilized courtyard. White furniture is affixed to the curvilinear roof in distinct areas, which offer informal congregation spaces. These are routinely used for class activities as well as social purposes. A new entry to the school removes the preexisting barrier between neighboring community, which has enabled the school to host community events.

Active Design Highlights:

  • The sloping roof of the gymnasium is an accessible, dynamic area for social gatherings, acting as a large hilly schoolyard designed with a “molehill” peak.
  • The roof gives students and staff an imaginative place to walk, run and be active. Below ground, students engage in activities such as basketball and handball.
  • The curves in the roof along with the varying heights of the curve serve as places for social gathering. Roof heights are set to allow for seating.

Innovation:

  • The design of the new below ground space activates a historically under utilized courtyard space, while still keeping the views and connectivity to the existing school buildings.
 
  • User Side Images Image 507
    The new main entrance to the school and gymnasium. Photo: Jens Lindhe
  • User Side Images Image 508
    The sloped-roof gymnasium. Photo: Jens Lindhe