Forfatterhuset Kindergarten, Copenhagen

 

Forfatterhuset Kindergarten opened in 2014 although work continues on the landscape of the street immediately around the school. It was designed by the architectural practice COBE and is in on the north side of De Gamles By buildings in a square that is open on the north-east side to Sjællandsgade. The buildings around mainly date from about 1900 and were originally built for a hospital for the elderly. The new nursery school is in a striking and novel form but picks up the deep red brick colour of the earlier buildings.

The plan is a series of interlinked pavilions with rounded corners and with flat roofs but with roof gardens to make optimum use of the site. The facing is described as brick lamellae and is wrapped around the buildings - there are three separate blocks or bars to each floor level, so nine in all on the tallest pavilion, and they stand proud of the wall face on metal brackets. The colours vary from deep rust like corten to an ochre or yellow in what appears to be a random arrangement. However, these modulations of colour creates a subtle and very attractive horizontal banding around the buildings.

 

The square-section vertical bars are continued as the high fence of the large play area at the south west end of the site. Windows and doors have a metal square-section architrave in deep red that projects forward of the system of the wall face. 

Buildings and fencing wrap around mature trees and the building has the character of a large tree house.

Inside white railings seem to continue the theme, looking rather like bamboo, running the full height of hallways and enclosing the staircases and landings - presumably for safety. The main building actually has three floors around a full height atrium and staircase and the entrance is into that taller block with a narrow entrance court that almost feels as if it has been created by someone pushing hard at the fence to move it inwards.

 

COBE