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Beautiful interaction between art, architecture and sustainability

A new low-energy school building in Copenhagen is decorated with ROCKPANEL board material. The façade cladding is sustainable, eye-catching and conveys spaciousness

Energy optimisation and a natural match with the surroundings are among the key benefits of a new school building in Copenhagen, Denmark. The school, Skolen i Sydhavnen, is designed by JJW Architects, and is built according to the Danish low-energy class 2015. The artist, Peter Holst Henkel, has made the artistic decoration and the façade has become like a canvas, beautifully reflecting the interaction between art and architecture.

A façade like in fairy tales

The ROCKPANEL façade cladding played an important role in turning the artistic intentions of Peter Holst Henkel into reality. The building was intended to convey a spaciousness and dynamic change – features that are intrinsic to a school environment. This has been realised by applying two visible layers on the outside of the building. Behind slats of recycled aluminium an artwork appears on the ROCKPANEL boards. It consists of colours, graphics and wavy pieces of text from Hans Christian Andersen famous fairy tales. This results in a constantly changing façade that reveals new perspectives depending on the amount of daylight, the viewer’s distance and angle towards the building.

“By using the ROCKPANEL board material for the façade we were able to give the building a high level of detailing by creating subtle pieces of texts on the façade. In practice, ROCKPANEL boards are easy to work with. The boards are flexible and it is absolutely hassle-free to cut them up, drill holes in them and mount them,” says Jørn Kiesslinger, Architect and DGNB auditor at JJW Architects in Copenhagen.

Future proof and sustainable from its nature

According to Jørn Kiesslinger, developers must pay increasingly attention to the life cycle of building components as we gradually move towards a circular economy. In this context he considers ROCKPANEL board material to be a strong solution. He explains: “ROCKPANEL façade cladding has a clear product advantage in the new economy. It is in fact possible to recycle the boards after the end-of-life stage and use this (partly) as raw material for new boards. As architects focusing on sustainability we like these closed life cycles to become reality.”

Jørn says: ”In our sustainability screening, we compared the Environmental Product Declaration of the ROCKPANEL boards with those of other cladding materials. It turned out that the boards made from the sustainable source basalt have a lower environmental impact both in terms of energy use and CO2 emissions during production.

According the EPD, the product life of the ROCKPANEL products is 60 years, another important point when we want to build in a sustainable way.”


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Pencoed Bridgend
CF35 6NY
Tel.: +44 (1656) 863 210
Fax: +44 (1656) 863 611
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Rockpanel board material for facade cladding and roof detailing
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