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Gammel Hellerup Sports & Arts Expansion

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)


Gammel Hellerup High School


  • Collaborators
  • Multi-use Hall & Gymnasium Project Leaders
  • Masterplan & Education Building Project Leaders
  • Landscape Project Leaders

Project Status


Year Completed



2,500 sq. meters

Room or Space



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Project Description


Following the completion of the Gammel Hellerup High School multi-purpose hall designed by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group in 2013, a new 1,400-square-meter building for cultural activities has been inaugurated by the school’s art and sports enthusiasts.

The new two-level addition to Gammel Hellerup High School just north of Copenhagen provides existing students with generous spaces for social and creative learning, while increasing the capacity of the school in response to its growing popularity. The construction started just as the multi-purpose hall was completed, inviting student life inside in November 2014.

"We are all incredibly excited to finalize the last phase of the expansion with a complex that not only provides the necessary space and facilities for our students, but also with abundant opportunities for outdoor adventures. We could not have hoped for a better addition to Gammel Hellerup High School," said Jorgen Rasmussen, principal of Gammel Hellerup High School.

Located between the school’s multi-purpose hall and adjacent football fields, the new arts building connects the sports areas with the gymnasium’s existing educational facilities in one continuous flow. 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.

“My high-school, formerly introverted and dispersed, has become open and integrated through two focused interventions. Even though each phase is autonomous and complete – their introduction in to the mix has completely reconfigured the sum of the parts. Like a catalyst or an enzyme – once inserted – all the surrounding substance transforms into something completely new,” said Bjarke Ingels, founding partner of BIG.

The roof of the new arts building, extend the school’s existing football fields into a green carpet for informal activity, serving as informal seating overlooking sports events.

Construction materials and finishes familiar from the multi-purpose hall are integrated in reverse. Where the sports hall is made of concrete with wooden finishes above and below ground, the classrooms are the opposite: wooden walls span the length of the building, complimented by concrete ceilings and floors. This continuity and repetition of materials creates a coherent visual identity for the school.
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