Frederiksbjerg School represents an innovative approach to school architecture in Denmark. It is one of the first schools designed to meet the requirements of the National Danish Reform of Public Schools, implemented in 2014. A key element of the reform is that children should get more exercise during the school day. At Frederiksbjerg School, children are encouraged to be physically active throughout the day. By means of climbing stairs, Tarzan tracks, and playgrounds, the children’s journey from A to B is designed to be a fun physical challenge. Customized zones for presentations, group work, and individual studies support the educational and didactic principles of the school. Physical activity is inevitable at Frederiksbjerg School. The results are better learning and higher test scores.
A diverse use of light and color, combined with a varied inflow of daylight, have a great impact on how time and space are perceived by the users of a building.
Thus, daylight is a key parameter in developing a varied and inspiring learning environment.
The facade of Frederiksbjerg School features a graduation of window sizes, with the largest windows placed in the middle, the smaller windows at the top, and the smallest windows at ground floor level. This window pattern creates a natural daylight variation throughout the day, supporting a variety of different learning settings. Our Ph.D.’s continuously work on documenting the effects of artificial light and daylight. In Frederiksbjerg School, we have worked strategically with focused light sources in the class rooms. Our research shows that it is possible to reduce noise levels in class rooms significantly by using focused light sources such as pendants.
Jette Bjørn Hansen, school principal
"I think we'll get happier, and also brighter, children. Children who are keen on the different subjects are also happy children."
Frederiksbjerg School shares its playground and outdoor areas with several institutions and a few private homes.
This unique open-air space offers an outdoor kitchen, tool sheds, and rabbit hutches.
Besides this outside area at ground floor level, the children can choose to play on one of the large terraces which are fully or partly integrated in the facade on all floors. The terraces function as play and teaching areas for the adjacent clusters. Some of the terraces are designed as roofed outdoor workshops. On the rooftop terrace, the school has access to a fenced playing field and a sitting area with wonderful views of Aarhus city.
The school facades are built from recycled bricks.
Recycled bricks are more environmentally friendly as the CO2 emission from cleaning old bricks is lower compared to producing new bricks.
Some of the oldest bricks come from the former county hospital in Aarhus, built in the 188o’s. Others come from Sct. Annagade School, which was previously located at the same address as Frederiksbjerg School. The patinated bricks are robust and fit perfectly into the historic surroundings. They bring a story about the buildings they originate from, and they come in a beautiful spectrum of nuances.