Kolbøtten in Thunøgade

The ‘Øgadekvarteret’ neighbourhood in Aarhus - so called because the residential streets are all named after Danish islands - is characterised by a small market town atmosphere, and most of the houses date from the end of the nineteenth century and up until about 1920. Here, many people live in lovely flats, with trees and gardens behind the houses. The integrated nursery and kindergarten ‘Kolbøtten’ in Thunøgade is situated in what is basically one of the most charming residential neighbourhoods in Aarhus.

Troldtekt Kolboetten
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect

Kolbøtten has been built to meet a growing tendency for families with young children to remain living near the city centre. Perhaps both parents work in central Aarhus, and if they live in Øgadekvarteret, then everything the city has to offer is within easy cycling distance. Therefore it made sense for the City of Aarhus to build a new institution on a vacant plot in Thunøgade that was suitable for the purpose.

The building blends in extremely well with its surroundings. The facade is light brick, and the building rises up three storeys and is topped with a saddle roof made from steel panels. Along the street are large windows so that the children can keep an eye on what is happening outside – while passers-by can get a sense of the hive of activity inside.

At the back is a large playground covering 1,300 square metres in all, where the children can have fun all year round in safe surroundings. Here, the building is partially clad in metal grating, which will gradually become covered in climbing plants. GPP Arkitekter was the turnkey consultants on the project.

The interior of the daycare institution has been designed with a strong focus on connecting people and spaces. A wide staircase and a lift connect the various floors logistically. The ground floor has direct access to the playground, and is also where the institution’s communal room, kitchen and office are located.

The rooms are bright and friendly and designed to inspire children to come together in groups large and small.    The corridors overlook the playground, where large windows provide stunning views of the city towards the south-east. On all three floors, the focus has been on creating optimum conditions with superior acoustics and a healthy indoor climate for the approx. 70 children and staff.