Art, architecture, the labour movement, concerts and modern conferences melt together into something greater at LO-skolen, beautifully located on Elsinore's old heath with a beautiful view of Øresund.
In LO-Skolen’s reception lies a postcard with the title ”LO-skolen – a special place.” There words are very appropriate. In the central, open yard, three old oaks reach for the sky amongst the otherwise pure 1960s architecture. From here a labyrinthine network of long, twisting corridors go throughout the building, from conference rooms to chambers to small enclosures, reminding one of middle eastern tea houses. The many bare wooden panels add to the otherwise minimalistic and Asian inspired construction, giving it a tough of sun and summer cottage. LO-skolen is a special place.
In 1957, the trade union LO bought Højstrupgaard and its surrounding lands from wealthy stockbroker Paul Hagemann, who up to that point had used Højstrupgaard as a holiday home. LO wished to create a place which could service the members of the trade union, but also wanted it to be managed commercially. The grounds were large, and so was there cash balance, so there were room for great thoughts.
This resulted in a building of great architectural value, which stood finished in 1969, and since then has been expanded several times, matching architecturally with the original construction. Today, LO-skolen functions as a commercial conference centre, which also hosts private parties. Furthermore, great concerts are also occasionally hosted on the lawn behind the school.
LO-skolen maintains one of the country’s largest private art collections. With a focus on Danish art from after 1950, the collection consists of about 1000 pieces from over 100 different artists. The artist Henning Damgaard-Sørensen is a favourite, with his many relief walls of wooden slats, but the collection also contains works by Asger Jorn, Carl-Henning Pedersen and Egill Jacobsen, among others.
In 1957, an architecture competition was organised in order to find an architect to design the LO-skole. The winner of the competition was local architect Jørn Utzon, who had designed a high-rise of 16 floors. The high-rise never became a reality, however, as Utzon had won a competition to design the new opera house in Sydney the year before, and had thus moved to Australia. Instead it was architects Karen and Ebbe Clemmensen, and Jarl Heger, who had their suggestion of a flat, japanese inspirede building complex become reality.