Ørestad School and Library


Photo: Marc Goodwin

Alternative thinking has resulted in an elementary and middle school with outdoor facilities on the roof, staggered terraces and a state-of-the-art library on the ground floor that is also open to the public.

As a mountain village in future-facing Ørestad City, Ørestad School and Library’s hanging gardens, bay windows and small piazzas recall the medieval Tuscan village of Barga. The result is that this school and library is an atypical building of nooks, alleyways and terraces.

Yet this ‘village life’ design isn’t just for pupils; visitors can also ‘climb’ the school’s outdoor ‘step promenade’ to use its playground. And on the ground floor, the public library Ørestad Bibliotek is internally linked to the school and can be used by local residents and the neighbouring Ørestad Gymnasium.

The school’s small plot size drove its architects to scatter its outdoor areas over many small terraces, creating varied spaces and connections to accommodate the school’s focus on creative subjects and innovative teaching methods.

Sustainability is central to both the school’s educational approach and its architecture – the CO2-neutral building complies with the Danish Lower Energy Class 1 standard, and it has its own herb garden, waste separation, windmill and solar roof.

In 2016, work began on a sister school in Arenakvarteret of Ørestad Syd, connected to Ørestad City by a pedestrian bridge. This will focus on sport, health and movement, so that as they get older, pupils can access both schools’ academic and social spaces.


Copenhagen, Ørestad


KHR Arkitekter


Copenhagen Municipality