Multi-level connecting channels to provide stimulating education space in existing Danish kindergarten
Marthagården is a modest kindergarten in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, consisting of two urban villas set in lush green surroundings. Recently, a competition was held by the Municipality of Frederiksberg and independent institution Diakonisse Stiftelsen to extend this popular day care centre with an inventive architectural composition.
The scheme was scooped up by a collaborative team consisting of Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, Leth & Gori Architects, Marianne Levinsen Landscape with Henrik Larsen and Jørgen Nielsen Engineers, whose imaginative concept garnered a unanimous decision from the jury which defined the design as ‘an interesting meeting between old and new through an innovative approach in tying together the buildings and the different levels of the site’.
At present the volumes on the site offer approximately 750 sq m split between two listed buildings, however the winning design suggests the formation of connecting channels which preserve the existing identity of Marthagården whilst creating additional play and learning spaces for the children.
This extension will be supported by a remodelling of the existing green space and playground, with a sunken courtyard and roof playscape installed to offer a range of stimulating environments for interaction between children. These external areas coupled with an underground connecting volume will create a series of diverse new spaces to develop the children’s physical and psychological education.
The jury concluded: “The project challenges the traditional way of designing day care centres and creates new architecture, functions and coherence. The project makes way for new ways to work with the children and the architecture supports new ways of organising children and adults along with new values in the approach to what constitute a good day care centre.”