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H.C. Ørsted Technical Educational Institute

A Magnetic School

Sweco Denmark

H.C. Ørsted Technical Educational Institute

Although largely unknown to the general public, the Danish born scientist Hans Christian Ørsted, whose life straddled the 18th and 19th centuries, is someone we all have much to thank for. It was this pharmacology graduate’s interest in Luigi Galvani’s discoveries that led him to conduct the first theoretical and practical studies into electromagnetism, which would subsequently be developed by André-Marie Ampère into mathematical models that in turn would lead to the invention of the electromagnetic coil. It was also Ørsted who in 1825 first isolated aluminum – albeit in an impure form – the precious metal we now know to be eternally recyclable. In brief, the discoveries of this well-respected physics professor of Copenhagen University, unknown to most, made him one of the scientists who ushered in the modern age we so take for granted today. Perhaps this was also the reason why TEC (Technical Education Copenhagen), the public vocational school institution with 30 trade schools, decided in 2018 to give precedence to innovative chemical research and provide the H.C. Ørsted Institute with a third facility organized along new didactic and interactive pedagogic lines to make it a leading example of modern places of learning.

Designed by what was then KANT Arkitekter, and today Sweco Architects Denmark, together with WSP and Thing Brandt Landskab, the architecture and allied features of the complex both reference Ørsted’s studies, taking the electromagnetic coil as a metaphor for the intellectual energy contained within a classroom. The 30 teaching spaces – ranging from classical classrooms to fully equipped laboratories – are linked to each other by corridors that can be seen as a continuous flow of energy coursing through a spatial field of learning in which students move around like orbiting electrons. H.C. Ørsted TEC offers a three-year...

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