As a new school year begins, I can’t help but think of Copenhagen’s School by the Sound (Skolen ved Sundet), designed by the great Danish architect Kaj Gottlob. Built in the late 1930s, the progressive elementary school stands and operates today as it did then. What makes the structure unique architecturally is its celebration of communal space, light, and air, as well as its seamless integration of form and function. The large shared spaces both inside and out would foreshadow the dramatic changes in school design—not to mention attitudes toward education in general—over the 20th century. The ceiling of the oval main auditorium is inscribed with a large compass that hovers over an inlaid linoleum map in the floor detailing the building’s context of land and sea. (» more)
text and photography by Lee F. Mindel, FAIA
What a space for education! These are some of my favorite elements of the school— especially the map of Copenhagen on the auditorium floor.