Garden School Copenhagen

Competition 2020, 2nd Prize

Children need nature for the healthy development of their senses, and therefore, for learning and creativity … Natural play strengthens children’s self-confidence and arouses their senses-their awareness of the world and all that moves in it, seen and unseen. Richard Louv (2013) Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder What would our lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in technology? Richard Louv (2012) The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age

Children learn best through free play in nature. The adults’ role is mentors who help and inspire the children when necessary. We therefore propose a large garden in a greenhouse.
The placement of the plants creates a large diversity of spaces of varying degrees of size and openness. Thus, diverse groups can form and find the spaces fitting for the activities they desire – or be inspired by the spaces – from open and wide to small and intimate. The plants and open spaces are augmented through rings on which one can sit, lie or work. Thus, diverse assemblies can occur – groups of children of different sizes, coming together to concentrate on various activities. The rings also accommodate material like books or equipment for drawing, model-making, gardening etc. The garden is divided into 3 climatic zones varying in temperature and vegetation – from Orangerie-like warmth in the innermost zone to early spring temperatures in the outermost zone (From + 20 °C in the innermost zone via + 13 °C in the intermediate zone to + 07 °C in the outer zone). The outer zones insulate the inner ones.
External courtyards enclose the outside even within the innermost climate zone. Thus, the difference between inside and outside is highlighted and made ambivalent at the same time. The zones are separated via curving glass walls more reminiscent of curtains than of walls. The sweeping curves create many instances where it is unclear in which zone one is – merging the garden into one perception. Multiple doors facilitate movement between the zones.

The large roof made from ETFE cushions of circles of various sizes dips and rises in a large wave to differentiate the spaces underneath. Occasionally trees in courtyards grow higher than the roof.
The overall organizational principle of the geometry is a packing of circles of various diameters. Thus, a hybrid between natural and artificial (human) order underlies the project.