Danish practice 3XN’s ‘Playfully Logical’ proposal has been selected as the winner of a competition to design the new National Children’s Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, emphasizing the power of play as an integral part of medical treatment.
Working with Architema Architects, Niras, Rosan Bosch Studio and Kirstine Jensens Tegnestue, 3XN’s scheme for BørneRiget takes the form of two hands grasping together to support the various aspects of pediatric care. The hospital has been designed to allow children to stay close to their families while maintaining as much of a regular day-to-day routine as possible.
“When our children become ill, the whole family is affected,” said 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.”
The formal “hands” also serve as the organizational structure of the building. Each “hand” is anchored by a public “wrist” with a family lounge, while each “finger” leads to patient rooms and atmospheric winter gardens. This layout also ensures minimal walking distances between each programmatic area of the building, with a maximum separation of just 20 meters.
“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,” added Stig Vesterager Gothelf, 3XN Design Manager, and Partner. “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.”
The winning scheme was lauded by the judges for its iconic appearance and embodiment of the playful spirit the hospital is striving for.
“The building has a sculpturally healthy appearance and will become an icon for BørneRiget with its playful and inviting mode of expression,” said jury member Anders Danøe. “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.”
The new children’s hospital will accommodate up to 900 patients as well as 1,200 doctors, nurses and other staff members. The project is estimated to cost approximately $350 million and to be completed in 2024.
News via 3XN.