Children’s House, Jutland Nursery School, Danish Kindergarten Architecture, Special Needs Building Project Photos
Children’s House in Skanderborg
7 Feb 2022
Location: Skanderborg, Jutland, Denmark
Photos by Ulrik Tofte Olesen
New Children’s House inspired by and built in the forest
Right next to a protected forest in Jutland, the Danish architects GinnerupArkitekter have designed a children’s house inspired by the surrounding scenery. Inspiration that has manifested itself in both the specific design of the house and its use of sustainable materials and in the way the architecture supports children’s everyday life, both indoors and outdoors.
Children’s House, Denmark
Every day, the users, including five kindergarten groups, four nursery groups and two groups of children with special needs, can enjoy being surrounded by tall trees and a forest setting with rich flora and fauna to explore. Right from the beginning, the house was designed with its forest setting in mind and with a desire to integrate nature into the design as much as possible.
Thus, small architectural pockets appear in the façade pulling nature closer to the architecture, and at the same time dividing the building into smaller units and establishing private entrances for the house’s various groups of children.
The different building heights support the division of the project into smaller houses with sedum roofs and integrated solar cells. Moreover, the facades are also inspired by the forest, covered with a Nordic Eco-lab and PEFC-certified wood cladding and with fine variations in the detailing.
An interior inspired by the forest
”In the interior, the inspiration from the context is obvious”, explains Trine Mouritsen, architect and partner at GinnerupArkitekter, and she continues: ”Just as in the forest where the trees form spaces with the treetops as a protective ceiling and the forest floor as a living and soft surface, we have designed the children’s house as an interpretation of the forest with its many natural spaces, its flickering light, and its characteristic clearings.”
Through large windows and bow windows, the building users can enjoy the greenery outside, while the high windows ensure a clear view of the sky and the weather outside. In addition, skylights contribute a flickering light that, as in the forest, cast sun rays and daylight directly into the interior.
Even the flooring has been carefully selected by taking inspiration from the flickering light that is experienced during walks in the woods. A soft linoleum quality with yellow nests was chosen, with large, circular sunny yellow spots appearing in certain places. All the floors, ceilings, and special furniture are made of sustainably certified materials.
Designing with play as the focal point
The architects have selected specific design elements in the interior, such as wardrobes, corridors, and toilets in the places that often become chaotic. Here the focus was to replace chaos with a calm atmosphere via e.g. a green colour that, in addition to referring to the forest, at the same time creates calm in the rooms. The hallways can also become active areas with small caves that invite the children to play and discover. At the same time, the central common room offers a zone where the children can experience how food is prepared, or they can perform on a small stage or even just use the space to meet the house’s other groups.
Also, outdoor, the play continues: In small pockets close to the building or on the hilly playground laid out around the children’s house, and in and out of the existing trees that have been preserved whenever possible. The trees that have been cut down have been recycled as active design elements in the playground.
Children’s House in Skanderborg, Denmark – Building Information
Client: Skanderborg Municipality
Address: Dyrehaven, Skanderborg, Denmark
Size: 2.000 sqm
Architects: GinnerupArkitekter – https://ginneruparkitekter.dk/ architectural detail design and interior designer
Landscape: Gustin Landskab
Engineer: EKJ Rådgivende Ingeniører
Turnkey contractor: Torntoft & Mortensen
Client advisor: GPP Arkitekter
Permanent architectural solutions, this is what GinnerupArkitekter aims for every time they build new projects. The design studio is led by four committed partners with a strong team of 20 passionate and competent employees. At the same time, GinnerupArkitekter have solid experience dating back to 1978. In addition to day-care institutions, the studio primarily designs high-quality housing projects, high-end villas, ambitious business projects, and a range of technical facilities.
Photo credit: Ulrik Tofte Olesen
Children’s House, Skanderborg images / information received 070222
Location: Skanderborg, Jutland, Denmark, northern Europe
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