2012 - 2014
A nursery school with a big heart
An architectural labour of love
As the site for a new nursery school, the City of Copenhagen had picked a corner plot on one of Copenhagen’s busiest streets, surrounded by iconic neighbours such as the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum and the Tivoli Gardens. Despite the modestly sized plot, the client’s requirements for the new building were ambitious, driven by a visionary leadership with high educational goals. In other words, this was a project with many architectural constraints.
Vandkunsten won the competition and created a project that functions as an outdoor nursery school in the heart of the city. A place where children can learn to grow plants and harvest their own crops in the green interior of the house, framed by a stringent exterior that shows a clear kinship with its physical environment.
We provide the blank canvas for kids' creativity
‘We’re so fed up with brightly coloured nursery schools! Children have a much freer imagination than us adults, so why do we still think that they need to be helped along with bright red doors and yellow walls? We would much rather give them a blank canvas and a chance to create their own colourful world. Fortunately, the City of Copenhagen embraced our ideas.’
– Jan Albrechtsen, Partner Vandkunsten Architects
Hard exterior, soft interior
Towards the street, the new building signals a clear and classic kinship with the distinctive architecture in the area: the Copenhagen Police Headquarters, the Tivoli Gardens and the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum. However, behind its buttoned-up exterior, the children’s house opens up to the sky and to the large greenhouse that connects the building to the central green outdoor space.
Eyes on the city
The few street-facing windows consist mainly of large niches that are occupied by children at play during the day.
The double-height greenhouse is both an arrival space and a place for the children to grow plants and get their fingers dirty all year round. The element is further designed to provide a constructive sun screen for the common areas, all of which face the garden and the playground.
Project name: Ved Glyptoteket Nursery school
Category:Culture & Institutions
Client: The City of Copenhagen (Kejd)
Gross area: 1.000 m²
Date: 2012 - 2014
Cost of construction: 29 mio. DKK
Program: Nursery home
Job type: Competition
Construction system: Concrete
Contact: Jan Albrechtsen, firstname.lastname@example.org