Copenhagen is growing! Projections show that by 2025, 90 000 new residents will have moved to the city – 22 000 between the ages of 0 and 18. If we are to guarantee welfare for children in a future of fewer resources and increased demands for efficiency, it calls for innovation!
Entitled Kids City, NORD Architects Copenhagen, in close collaboration with COBE, PK3 Landscape Architects and the engineering company, Grontmij and the future users, have re-thought the way we create and operate day care. Kids City illustrates how the welfare buildings of tomorrow can guarantee that spatial quality and the highest level of welfare services can go hand in hand.
Based on a triangular plot on Christianshavn in the heart of Copenhagen, between the urban blocks of the main street and the diversity of Freetown Christiania, the project’s ambition is to create a children’s city for 710 children and young people between the ages of 0 and 15. Despite requiring three times more users than an average Danish childcare centre, Kids City has been designed so that, in terms of scale and character, it will accommodate the child as an individual, instead of portraying an enlarged version of a traditional day care centre. The project offers the best developmental conditions for the children, and rethinks usage in the form of multi-functional and flexible buildings, able to accommodate both current and future needs. We call this: “intelligent” square metres. The result is that large areas can be used for a range of functions, which move beyond the day care centre, school and club, thus also benefiting the cultural and recreational life of the local community.
Kids City was inspired by its surroundings– the city of Copenhagen, complete with a fire station, town hall, museum, restaurant, sports stadium, various neighbourhoods, squares and parks. All of the iconic and central elements of our society are scaled down in the children’s city; adapted to the needs of the children. Life in the new city promotes a coherent, challenging environment, where the inspiring diversity of their urban and natural surroundings co-creates the best possible learning and developmental conditions for the users.
With a focus on urban life, movement, and cohesion, Kids City is comprised of numerous small houses and buildings, which give the place its very own identity. A floating basketball cage between two roofs will create a golden gate from the outside “real” metropolis. This will be the entrance to the new “city-within-the-city”. Kids City aims to transform the city as an organism into a children’s universe with density, public spaces, streets, a beach and attractions. These will harmonise with the natural and landscape character of the site, and unite the special buildings, architecture, activities and various functions of the centre. It will be a centre with room for life, movement and, most of all, stimulating conditions for the democratic generation of tomorrow.
Project title: Kids City Prinsessegade
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Client: Copenhagen Municipality
Program: Daycare, kindergarten, after school youth club
Size: 4.200 m2
Budget: 120 mill. DKK
Collaborators: COBE, PK3, Grontmij
Status: 1st prize, invited competition. Ongoing
Team: Morten Rask Gregersen, Johannes Molander Pedersen, Kaspar Bjørn, Dan Binda, Torben Pedersen, Steffan Iwersen, Mans Nijkamp, Simon Tornby