Building a house for the future

University Director Peter Jonasson Pedersen reflects in the monthly column from the Senior Management on the building plans for Solbjerg Campus


By Peter Jonasson Pedersen

CBS is very popular. Both student and faculty population have been increasing for many years. And as anyone involved in an addition to the family knows, the happy event often involves the question: how about space?

The easy answer is: the CBS family is outgrowing the house. If you have tried to find a free auditorium, been looking for a new office for a new employee, seeking study space or just trying to park a bicycle you know this. And hopefully you know that already now things are being done to solve it: opening the three auditoriums at Flintholm, rebuilding of existing campus to fit our needs better and in 2015 opening of the new Graduate house. But these are just temporary solutions. The long term solution is a new building complex at Solbjerg campus of around 30.000 square meters. That is a bit bigger than Solbjerg Plads 3 and if possible we would like to build even more.

What do we need?
A good spreadsheet will give us an answer. If you want to build for an increase in the student population of that size you need X square meters. And if you also want to close the small off-campus buildings you need to build Y more square meters. And how about some kind of conference facility? That will add another Z square meter. This is why spreadsheets are so popular.

But the spreadsheet will not tell you what we need! What does the auditorium of the future look like? Is it bigger and has more tech-stuff in it? Or is it just a room for six students where they together can follow the MOOC (open online course) on the screen and discuss the solutions to the task that they are given electronically?

A building is as flexible as the concrete that it is made of. When you mould it you can shape it in almost any form, but when the concrete has hardened, the reshaping options are limited, expensive and annoying for the people using the facility. So we have got to get it right the first time!

And how do we get it right? Well the comforting news is that nothing has changed: it is still hard to predict the future. So we need to analyse all the facts, based on that formulate a vision of the future we want for our teaching and research, and then build the buildings that will support the vision.  

Do you care?
Building a new building complex is a long process. First, we need a master plan for the whole area between Falkoner Allé and Fasanvej. The master plan will tell something about the layout of the area; like how high and broad can the buildings be, how do you enter and exit the area, and what the outside areas should look like (squares, green areas and so forth).

Then the municipality has to adopt a district plan for the area, the actual building has to be designed and we also need to secure the financing of the new buildings. And hopefully one day, walking across Solbjerg campus, you will see new buildings being constructed with a completion date around 2020.

And, when crossing campus, maybe you will stop and think: wonder what the vision is? Have they considered that …? I hope they have remembered to include x. But at that point it will be too late. Because the shapes have been decided long ago and the concrete is hardening.

It is not too late – but the ball is rolling
The master plan is in the making. Frederiksberg municipality, the Metro Company, Realdania and CBS are putting the master plan out to tender in the beginning of February. The task is: what does a city integrated campus look like? The basis for the task is competition material that has been developed together with CBS vision groups with representatives from across campus, external architects and city planners as well as a constructive discussion between the partners in the process. Six bidders will make their proposal and a panel consisting of representatives from CBS, Frederiksberg municipality, the Metro Company and Realdania together with two or three external specialist with deep insight into city planning will decide on two or three proposals to advance to a second round. In the second round, the proposals will be developed further and the panel will have in-depth discussions with the teams about their proposals and hopefully at the end of 2014 we will have a master plan.

We are only at the beginning of a very long process. But tracks are being laid down and direction is being set. So it is time to get on the train if you want influence. The competition material for the master plan will be published in the end of February. Throughout the spring and early summer there will be events where you can make your voice heard.

For more information contact University Director Peter Jonasson Pedersen, email -

The page was last edited by: Communications // 03/25/2014