A good place to grow

The architecture of Børnehuset Grønnegården is visionary, yet visually in harmony with the historic 100-year-old buildings on the site. What was a barn has very successfully been turned into a modern childcare institution.

Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, arkitekt MAA

The three-winged building, with capacity for a total of 144 children, is Denmark’s first carbon-neutral childcare institution – and it also carries the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. The consistent use of wood actually makes the structure carbon-negative. The walls are made of cross-laminated timber, with wood insulation and cladding both inside and out. Also worth highlighting are the walled sections built using mainly recycled masonry.

On the roof of the central communal building, photovoltaic panels have been installed to supply the building with sustainable power, another prerequisite for the Swan Ecolabel. Grønnegården is built close to the eponymous historic farm, which is part of the institution’s play area. BBP Arkitekter has very successfully integrated the existing and new buildings. The old barn was the obvious source of inspiration for the design, colour scheme and the use of wood.

A living interior

The layout of the childcare institution mirrors that of a real farm. Communal functions such as the cloakroom, communal rooms, kitchen and administration are located in the main building, which is taller than the two wings, which house the kindergarten and nursery rooms. Architecturally, a pleasant sense of continuity has been achieved between the spaces, while introducing changes in the lighting, spatiality and colours. Daylight is clearly a priority. In addition to a number of skylights, the communal areas off the group rooms also have large windows.

Troldtekt is used on all the ceilings – a material approved for use in Swan Ecolabel-approved construction. Most rooms feature Troldtekt Line in natural wood, the lines adding continuity to the ceilings, which even continue into adjoining rooms.

Artist Malene Bach took charge of the interior colour scheme of Grønnegården, beautifully accentuating the structure of the wood and the interconnection of the rooms.