A former constable school building transformed into youth housing, Konstabelskolen is a striking contrast between old and new. It showcases how a clear design strategy can preserve the cultural importance and materials of a listed building while transforming it for different uses and to modern specifications.
Use the slider to view the before and after transformation.
The Margretheholm islet in Copenhagen housed the Danish Navy for centuries. In 2014, the islet was transformed into a small new urban district. The Constable School and the seaplane hangar are the only remaining buildings from the Navy's use of Margretheholm, and thus stand as landmarks in the area.
The Constable School through the years
Built in 1939, the school had been abandoned for decades and was technically in bad shape.
The building was built using reinforced concrete as the load-bearing structure, which makes it flexible for new interior.
However, the sleek building body is challenging for transformation and previous projects for conversion into offices were abandoned.
With a relatively small budget, Vandkunsten Architects was tasked with transforming the building into affordable apartments for students.
The architects approached the project with the intention to preserve as much as possible the materials of the original building.
This is done, among other things, by keeping much of the existing building features, such as the original façade and graffiti-ravaged interiors, and also dividing the building into zones.
The result is a modern residential design contrasting with visible historical features throughout the building.
Visit us and try the app on the building
Try the on-site app yourself at the Constable School to learn more about the different circularity approaches throughout the building. Follow the simple steps below.
1. Visit the building!
2. Find the QR codes throughout the building using the guide below.
3. Find a QR code, such as the one below. Scan the code with your mobile or table to activate the application and step back to the floor marker, such as the one below.
4. Walk back slowly until you see the pop-up elements on your screen and follow the instructions on the screen.