Photos by ARCHDAILY

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“Sjakket” (”The Gang”) is a former printing factory located in the North Western area of Copenhagen. Since 1996, Sjakket has been housing crime threatened and socially disadvantaged children and young people. In these facilities, Sjakket’s users were able to receive help and support, with the sole purpose of bringing them back on the “right” track of life.
Sjakket offer their users an inspiring environment, where they can just hang out, play music, practice sport, meet up with friends etc. But in 2005 a total renovation initiated, because the old printing factory was found unhealthy to be in. After two years of massive renovation, the new and improved Sjakket was ready to open its doors for the children, the young people and the city of Copenhagen. Hereby the new building opened a dynamic and colourful appearance.

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Today, Sjakket is one of Copenhagen’s raw urban oases. The building’s many features and facilities provide the old factory with an exciting and active expression. Sjakket’s “inside” is equipped with modern facilities, and on the outside of the building it looks like a classical industrial complex with gigantic stained-glass windows in different colored laminate folls.

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The old factory building consists of two large, arched halls, connected by a central section. One part holds school, kitchen, administration, music studio and a Thai boxing hall. The other part has been designed as a flexible multipurpose hall, which can be used by Mjølnerparken, other institutions and of course by Sjakket and its users. This part of the two halls can be opened up, so the building and the urban space can get in contact with each other. The old building have been found worthy of preservation, so therefore it was difficult for the architects, PLOT (BIG/JDS) to change the design of the building.

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The buildings form retained its original design, but with a red beam across the two halls and the rooftop terrace. A combination of something industrially and new in its expression gives an attractive architecture. The expression gives a sense of activity, social interaction and stimulating for the young people.