ILOVEYOU VIRUS | Copenhagen, Denmark | Unit 21 | 2014
COPENHAGEN EX-CHANGE SCHOOL | Copenhagen, Denmark | Unit 21 | 2014
Awarded Distinction for Thesis
Copenhagen Ex-change School: to bridge, to reveal and to distribute
Christiania is a Danish commune that was created in 1971 near the center of Copenhagen. During the early years of its establishment, it was Denmark’s center of creativity, generating famous designs such as the Christiania Bike. However; over the past decade, Christiania has become a Counterculture relic as areas such as the Carlsberg district pop up. Meanwhile, the Danish Authorities continues to put pressure on the commune to normalize.
In order to preserve as well as contextualize Christiania in the 21st Century, my project aims to revitalize the area by attracting youths back into the area by building a Skills School (Ex-Change School) that is based on barter. In other words, students would exchange old skills or old items for new skills. Other points of attractions include interactive learning spaces and utility walls that allow students to build their own living spaces as required. The design strategy for Ex-Change School is based mainly on three behaviors of exchange – to bridge, to reveal and to distribute. These behaviors informs the main gestures of the building as well as the experience along the main circulation route.
To integrate the school better within its context, the school’s design is also informed by concepts of Anarchy and Non-hierarchy. (Both core concepts that inform Christiania’s ideology). Firstly, the architectural language of areas that are more politically charged are refined based on the concepts of anarchy. This includes the lecture space, smoking space and views tower. Secondly, many learning spaces scattered throughout the school are interactive in such a way that they encourage users to avoid the formation of hierarchy. I also explored this concept of non-hierarchical space within my thesis.