Copenhagen International School

Copenhagen International School

Copenhagen International School

Levantkaj 4-14
2150 Nordhavn

An international school steeped in educational vision

Copenhagen International School (CIS) has maintained a clear vision for their extensive school project in Copenhagen’s North Harbour district, Nordhavn. The school’s vision is to educate champions of a just and sustainable world.

CIS is Denmark’s largest International Baccalaureate (IB) school with more than 900 children and young people ranging in age from 3 to 19 and encompassing 84 different nationalities. The school has been an international school pioneer in Denmark since the 1960s, and due to increasing enrolments, the school has moved to a larger, newly built campus near the waterfront and the city in Copenhagen’s North Harbour district.

Designed based on international learning philosophy
The new school’s design is rooted in the IB learning philosophy and the Thornburg model. CIS’ interpretation of the Thornburg model is particularly evident in the school’s interior design, which is based on Thornburg’s four different situations for a school’s physical framework:

  • The Campfire
    Focus on dissemination. One person sharing information with others. This might be a lecture by a teacher or a presentation by a student.
  • The Watering Hole
    Focus on “sharing”. This is where the pupils meet in groups of up to eight. They share and create knowledge together in groups.
  • The Cave
    Focus on reflection. This is where there is room for quiet reflection. A place where the individual can achieve a sense of flow.
  • Life
    Focus on collaboration with the outside world. What the pupils learn in school must be important and useful in the bigger picture and be applicable in the world.

Each of these situations is reflected in the classrooms or the surrounding area. In the lower classes, all functions are close to the classroom, while pupils in the higher classes have the “courage” to move further away from their own classroom.

The objective has been for the learning environments at CIS to offer many different ways to learn. There is no single learning method that works for everyone. This is echoed in the architecture and interior design.

CIS was nominated in 2017 for Danish School Building of the Year.

CIS was designed by C.F. Møller, while HOLMRIS B8 designed the school’s interiors.