The School in the City Center

  • Architect

    Kjaer & Richter - a part of Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects

  • Client

    Helsingør Municipality

  • Collaborators

    Lyngkilde engineers A/S, 1:1 landscape

  • Location

    Marienlyst Alle 2, DK-3000 Helsingør

  • Area

    16,900 m2

  • Status

    Completed in 2020

  • Award

    Nominated for Danish School Building of the Year (2020)

  • Competition

    1st Prize

Modern campus in historical context

This project is designed by Kjaer & Richter - a part of Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects. 

The vision for the School in the City Center is a central powerhouse where the school, music school, and sports and movement activities form new communities and collaborative structures. The entire school is designed for 4 tracks from grades 0 to 9, including integrated facilities for after-school care and clubs. The school has opened up to the local area as the neighborhood's gathering place, with the opportunity for optimal use of the school's many facilities for both school and leisure activities.

Centrally located in Helsingør's historic city center, two schools have merged into one new school - the School in the City Center. With its detached new and existing buildings, the school forms a modern campus, connected by fine green courtyards. The overall complex provides the framework for an open and active leisure/cultural offer in close dialogue with the local area. The inherent historical and architectural qualities of the buildings have been optimally utilized, and after extensive renovation, demolition, and new construction, the school emerges as a harmonious and atmospheric learning landscape that invites the city inside. The layout of the existing building stock has been completely rethought. The existing and new buildings are grouped into 3 main departments: Primary School/After-School Care, Middle School/Club, and Upper School, with easy access to the age group's primary classrooms and workshops. New flexible spaces of varied sizes and character have been created, combined with transparency, group niches, and fixed furniture to accommodate varied teaching opportunities and leisure activities.

Areas for gathering, play, and movement are supplemented both indoors and outdoors by quieter zones where one can be inspired and motivated to participate in physical activities. The design has been planned and developed based on an initial user process where thoughts and desires for the school's layout were translated into concrete proposals for the redesign of the existing buildings. The school has been in operation throughout the construction period, with the school's students and administration moving internally between the buildings. Thorough planning and ongoing coordination with the school have made it possible to ensure traffic conditions and safety for children and young people during the long construction period.


Throughout the project, there has been a strong focus on space optimization, dual-coded functions, environmentally friendly material choices, technical solutions, landscape biodiversity, as well as the building's compactness and recyclability. Comparative measurements of indoor climate before and after renovation show significantly lower CO2 concentrations after renovation, which positively affects the general well-being of the students. With the design of the new differentiated learning spaces, it has also been essential to consider social sustainability factors so that the rooms enable adaptation of teaching to individual needs for security and structure.

Other projects
Forest College Student Housing
Campus of the University City College Capital
Life Mobile Lab