Danish architects shine new light on eco-kindergarten design
Designed by architects at C.F. Moller, the Dragen Children’s House sets new standards, as a sustainable and pedagogically thought-through design. All components are 'Nordic Swan' eco-labelled and the construction is a certified passive-house, using a minimum of energy.
The fundamental architectural concept is a simple and clear geometric form on two levels, with the children’s areas located in the best-lit southern end. The two levels are linked by staircases and ramps which are designed to stimulate and challenge the children’s sensory and motor skills.
"There is far more space available than in traditional kindergartens,” says Odense's councilwoman for Children & Young People's Services, Jane Jegind, “and there is a pedagogical idea to the interior design. The entire architecture is supporting the ambitions Odense Municipality has for the children's development - namely that they enjoy attractive and challenging surroundings for learning and growing."
As an example, the Dragen Children's House has small niches distributed throughout, where children can play, read or just withdraw. In addition, there are purpose-built spaces, giving the children special opportunities: there is a small theatre, atelier, motor skills room and pedagogical kitchens indoors and out.
The building respects the environment, energy-savings and not least the health of the children and employees. The highly insulated construction will consume less than 20 percent of the energy used for a standard building. Passive-houses built of healthy materials have also been proven to reduce the spreading of influenza, meaning fewer sick-days for children and adults.
The building is constructed from pre-fabricated wooden insulated wall segments, and generous glazed facades provide daylighting and passive solar heating. In addition the building integrates solar hot water and electricity generation and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. A touch-screen at the entrance informs parents about the current energy-performance, and provides info and updates from the pedagogues.