A team consisting of 3XN, as lead architect, Architema Architects, Niras, Rosan Bosch Studio and Kirstine Jensens Tegnestue as sub-consultants has won the competition to design the new national children hospital in Copenhagen, where play will be an integral part of the treatment.

Studio Name: 3XN Architects
Design Team: Anne Strandgaard Hansen, Gry Kjær, Pernille Ulgvig, Stine de Bang, Dennis Carlsson, June Jung, Stig V. Gothelf, Simon Thorius, Louise Villumsen, Marius Prom Colin, Anja Pedersen, Kasper Hertz
Area: Hospital
Year: Completion in 2024 Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Consultants: Architema Architects, Niras, Rosan Bosch Studio and Kirstine Jensens Tegnestue

Copenhagen Children's Hospital By 3XN Architects - Sheet2
©3XN Architects

Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet, Denmark’s leading hospital, has revealed the winner of the design competition for a new paediatric hospital. “BørneRiget,” has a defining characteristic; a building shaped like two hands that support all aspects of paediatric care under one roof. The ambitions are high for this new hospital construction: a chance to revolutionize the entirety of the patient and family experience during treatment. A hospital that will provide patients with the opportunity of being together with their family – maintaining as close to a day to day routine as possible.

“When our children become ill, the whole family is affected. We have therefore aimed to create an environment where the family can stay close to the patient and have a life as close to what they are used to. We have worked a lot with the healing qualities of architecture, considering factors from airflow to daylight while creating opportunities for play and creativity”, says Kim Herforth Nielsen, 3XN Founder and Creative Director.

A defining principle at BørneRiget lies in the fact that the specialists come to the patient – not the other way around. Treatment, care, research, education, technology, and architecture thought together as a holistic ecosystem is key. Integrating play into the treatment itself is also a common thread throughout the entire facility.

Copenhagen Children's Hospital By 3XN Architects - Sheet3
©3XN Architects

Playful Logic – A Guiding Principle

The architecture firm, 3XN A/S won the design contest to build the new BørneRiget with their design ‘Playfully Logical,’ which symbolically takes its point of departure with two hands that stretch theirs ‘fingers’ into the light, into the city, and into the green. The design was revealed at Rigshospitalet on the 31st of August 2017. 3XN has prepared the design proposal in collaboration with Arkitema Architects K/S, NIRAS, Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue and Rosan Bosch.

“Hands” are the metaphorical and organizational principle implemented in the entire building. Each “hand” is defined with a public “wrist”, providing a lounge area for the family during the stay at the hospital. Each ‘finger’ offers patient bays and at the end of each finger winter gardens. The gardens stretch to the second floor, unfolding with different themes and experiences that accommodate the various patients’ needs. The organizational structure of the design ensures short distances between each area – including the gardens at a maximum range of 7 – 20 meters – like a standard house.

“The ambition is to create a hospital with a home-esque and informal atmosphere where patients and their families will have a safe journey with relatable contexts and playful frameworks. It is crucial that children and their families feel protected in the course of treatment and that they can maintain the best possible quality of life”, says Stig Vesterager Gothelf, 3XN Partner and Design Manager.

©3XN Architects

An Active Icon that Meets the Users’ Demands

Specialist judge, Anders Danøe, explains the choice behind the winner; – “The building has a sculpturally healthy appearance and will become an icon for BørneRiget with its playful and inviting mode of expression. It is a building that meets a lot of the users’ many demands and wishes for a building that needs to be clinically effective and at the same time provide safety for children, adolescents, and families. A project that in every way deserves its central location in Copenhagen’s skyline with the headline: The world’s best hospital for children and family, nothing less.”

“BørneRiget gives children, adolescents, and pregnant women a safe and modern experience at the hospital. Children will not stop playing because they become ill and BørneRiget can and will support this fact. I like the symbolism in hand, as we hold the hand under people who are facing a difficult situation in their lives. At BørneRiget it is possible to maintain an everyday life as normal as possible while being treated and that is of great importance”, says chairwoman of the regional council, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (S).

The new children’s hospital is expected to be completed in 2024 and will care for up to 900 patients, in addition to the workplace of 1200 doctors, nurses, orderlies and administrative staff. Located on a 17,900m2 plot in the centre of Copenhagen – flanked by “Amorparken” and “Fælledparken”. It’s expected to cost $350 million – funded by The Capital Region of Denmark and Ole Kirk’s Fond.


About 3XN

3XN has over 130 employees at offices in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Sydney, and New York. The company is a major player in the Danish and the international architecture scene and has designed many high-profile and award-winning buildings. Olympic House, the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, Royal Arena, Sydney Fish Market, and Rigshospitalet´s new children´s hospital ‘BørneRiget’, to mention a few.

Alongside LINK arkitektur, 3XN is leading the ongoing expansion of Rigshospitalet, which includes a patient hotel and multi-story car park ‘p-hus’, both opened in 2015.

Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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