Spiloppen is a cheerful daycare institution full of architectural interest and a myriad of well-designed and functional rooms.

Troldtekt, Spiloppen
Photo: Thomas Mølvig, architect

The firm of architects Pluskontoret A/S was originally established in 1993 by a group of young female architects with a shared entrepreneurial spirit. All the owners had young children at the time so – naturally – much of their focus was on nurseries, kindergartens and schools. Today, Pluskontoret has built up considerable experience in this particular field, one of its latest projects being Spiloppen in Kolt south of Aarhus, which opened in April 2011.

Spiloppen is both a rebuild and a new-build. New and old have been sensitively combined, with a new main entrance being constructed where the two elements meet. Thus, you arrive in the middle of the building, from where you proceed to either the nursery section, the kindergarten or the offices/staff rooms on the first floor. The very different room designs make the building an exciting place to explore, and for the children it is almost like a small town.

The new wing is a fan-shaped single-storey construction which opens out towards the south-facing playground. The roof shapes are cleverly designed with an asymmetrical saddle roof as an up-to-date interpretation of the older building’s more conventional roofing. The extension thus ties in well with the plot and the existing building as well as adding a new vitality to the institution’s organisation.

Pluskontoret’s overall mission is, in its own words: ‘to create sustainable spaces for living, playing and learning’. This has been more than successfully achieved with this project, where considerable attention has also been paid to the acoustics environment. Daniel Kjær Olsen, architect MAA, project manager, says:

“With the strict requirements applying to acoustics and reverberation times in kindergartens, at Pluskontoret we make a point of designing acoustic solutions which are both stylish and functional. Thanks to their rough structure and textural look, Troldtekt acoustic panels have a relaxed feel, one that works very well in Spiloppen, which in terms of both its architecture and function comes over as a very down-to-earth building which is full of play. There is no doubt about Troldtekt’s acoustic properties, and at Spiloppen the acoustics and aesthetics have been very effectively combined.”

Sustainable strategy

Thanks to a clear sustainable strategy, Spiloppen’s energy consumption is very low. The firm of engineers Stokvad & Kerstens has, among other things, ensured that the rebuild meets the class 2010 requirements, while the extension meets the class 2015 requirements, for example through optimising the extension’s orientation in relation to the sun, its compact design and the 35 sq m of solar cells which are integrated in the windows and installed on the roof.

Spiloppen signals visible sustainability. According to the architects, this is a significant message for all the children and adults. There is something educational in being able to see that the building reduces our environmental impact. The solar cells are integrated in the glazing on the south-facing façade in the form of a solar cell forest, which casts exciting and playful patterns onto the floor. A marriage of sustainability and play.