An international design competition has netted a new design for the National Children’s Hospital in Copenhagen, where play will be an integral part of pediatric care treatment.
The winning design, titled BørneRiget, was created by a team led by 3XN and will cost USD$350 million to construct. Released by Regshospitalet, Denmark’s leading hospital, the innovative design shows platform with two towers shaped like interlocking hands. The new structure will house all aspects of pediatric care under its roof.
The winning team, comprised of 3XN alongside Arkitema Architects, consultants NIRAS, Rosan Bosch Studio, and Kristine Jensens Tegnestue, came up with a design that would set new standards for the treatment of children, adolescents, pregnant women, and create an environment that supports patients to spend as much time as possible with their families.
“When our children become ill, the whole family is affected,” explains Kim Herforth Nielsen, Creative Director and Founder of 3XN. “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.”
BørneRiget will be comprised of 58,000 square metres distributed across nine floors. Emphasis on the power of play is a driving force behind the new building. Utilising the ‘hand’ as the metaphorical and organisational principle of the structure, 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 are winter gardens. The gardens stretch to the second floor, unfolding with different themes and experiences that accommodate the various patients’ needs. The organisational structure of the design ensures short distances between each zone – a maximum distance of 20 metres – much like the structure of a regular house.
“BørneRiget gives children, adolescents and pregnant women a safe and modern experience at the hospital,” said Copenhagen regional council chairperson Sophie Hæstorp Andersen. “Children will not stop playing because they become ill and BørneRiget can and will support this fact. At BørneRiget it is possible to maintain an everyday life as normal as possible while being treated and that is of great importance.”
The Capital Region of Denmark donated DKK1.4 billion for the project, which will accommodate up to 1200 doctors, nurses and other staff members. The project is estimated to be completed in 2024.
Images courtesy of 3XN