Amager Fælled Schoolyard

An urban forest

Say goodbye to the grey concrete of a typical playground and say hello to humming birds in the trees, and the sensation of a green forest floor under foot. That is the situation at Amagerfælled Skole, a school that houses 550 pupils.

The project provides an innovative answer to one of Copenhagen’s biggest challenges – how to optimize the limited outdoor areas of the city. Amagerfælled Skole offers a new relationship to nature by minimizing the barrier between city and school. The result is a unique outdoor area that mutually engages the local residents and students alike.

The project was inspired by an existing and popular overgrown green area at the school, affectionately known by the students as ‘The Forest’. The students loved to play in the area, which aligned with the school’s wishes for a centralized green spot within the schoolyard. The creation of a ‘Forest School’ emerged naturally, providing the scheme with great potentials.

The edge is created by a low wall of a diverse range of materials, coatings, textures and wooden benches. Small forecourts clearly mark entries from the footpath to school. The wall is also composed of various niches, terraces and resting areas that enable the entire boundary to be used as a continuous parkour course. All of the permanent functions such as the area for sports and play equipment are integrated, inviting pedestrians and local residents to enjoy the new facilities. The result is a fluid transition between pavement and schoolyard.

The forest areas are created by nine islands that offer contrasting experiences; through the planting of different trees, bushes and flowers. Students are able to explore and play inside or around the islands, where functions and ground surfacing will change. To ensure the atmosphere of a forest is captured, older trees have been planted. The school will also include a LAR project that will be used to collect rainwater and secure the area from flooding in the years to come.

  • Location:

    Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Client:

    Copenhagen Municipality

  • Year:


  • Typology:

    Landscape, schoolyard

  • Construction costs:

    13 mill DKK

  • Size:

    10.600 m2 surface area

  • Collaborators:

    Thing Brandt Landskab

  • Status: