Arkitema Architects designed 500m² school extension clad in Kebony

Project: Gentofte School, Denmark

Kebony, the sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, today announce their latest project, in collaboration with Arkitema Architects, at Gentofte School. The new addition to the school in Denmark creates a further 460m² of space, which can accommodate 100 children, spread across two floors. The extension houses three classrooms, a common room and a double height workshop as well as a large roof terrace.

The designers, Arkitema Architects, worked in a close collaboration with the school’s management and teaching teams to ensure the space was practical and ergonomic for both the primary classes and the after school activities. The children at Gentofte school age from 5-9 years, as such the building has been completed with special features such as sliding walls that also function as writing boards and can be easily operated by the children. The new space can also be converted into either a single or double-height space and can be divided into compartments to host several classrooms dependent on the needs of the students and teachers. The large south facing princess balconies will similarly afford further dynamic teaching methods by creating additional outdoor and recreational spaces.

The interior has also been constructed with the unique needs of the pupils in mind, resulting in an innovative range of uses. For example, it is possible to drive cars in through the double doors located at the entrance, rendering the building operational as an engineering workshop. Additional functions of the building are equally inventive, the double height space can serve as an orangery; in-keeping with the ecological theme of the build.

Sustainability was key to the design ethos, leading to the decision to clad the entire façade of the new extension, just under 400m², in Kebony wood. Produced using sustainably sourced species of soft wood which are impregnated with a non-chemical bio-based product and heated under pressure, Kebony is a highly durable and environmental product. The use of sustainable Kebony wood also means that the façade is totally maintenance free and will not be susceptible to damage through wear and weathering in the future. Consequently, the façade will soon be covered by a ‘vertical forest’ with a depth of up to 60cm and a wall of climbing plants which will eventually house birds and insects.

Carsten Løppenthin Møller, Managing Director of Kebony Denmark, commented “Kebony are really pleased to have been selected for this project; the flexible and innovate design is an exemplar for new school facilities but this flexibility has not compromised on the beauty of the building. We look forward to seeing the Kebony develop its silver patina and blend with the new trees and climbing plants.”