Build better childcare institutions


The number of children is on the rise in several northern European countries, and thus also the need for new childcare institutions. It is important to take the children’s perspective in the design of the new institutions, and for the architecture to support the development of mind and body. This is the point made by two experienced architects, Professor Jens Ludloff and Nathalie Dziobek-Bepler, in a new theme from Troldtekt A/S.

The maternity wards are busy in hospitals in several European countries – which means a chance for architects in countries like Sweden and Germany to become involved in a whole host of new childcare institution projects. But how to design the best possible childcare institution? It is important to take children seriously as the users of institutions and to create the best possible conditions for them to engage in play and physical activity on a daily basis.

– Children’s architecture is a very specialized field with lots of regulations and need for planning. It requires specialized knowledge of for example safety regulations, but it is playful work which benefits from a playful approach. Good architecture can support children in their development by creating opportunities for practicing their social skills and motor skills, says Nathalie Dziobek-Bepler, who has specialized in children’s architecture since she founded Baukind in Berlin (Germany) eight years ago.

Involve children in the design process

The interview with Nathalie Dziobek-Bepler is part of a new online theme at The theme from the manufacturer of acoustic solutions focuses on architecture in childcare institutions. It also presents a number of cases describing the successful marriage of good design and superior acoustics, resulting in better environments for children to play and learn on their own terms.

– In our experience, building for children requires different forms of communication than building for adults, at least if we take them seriously as users with independent needs. This means that for the engagement with the users, who spend a part of their lives in our architecture, a suitable form must be found, e.g. in the form of workshops, so that specific needs can flow into the design process, says Professor Jens Ludloff from Ludloff+Ludloff architects (Germany) in the theme.  

No universal template

In another theme article, Mille Sylvest – who holds a PhD in environmental psychology and is a partner in the Human Studio consultancy firm – offers her take on good childcare institutions. She makes the point that the design of new institutions should not be based on a universal architectural template.

“It’s important to understand there is no universal – or even national – model for what a good childcare institution should look like. You have to understand the cultures in play in the specific location and design the institution accordingly. Factors like the mix of children, staff culture and degree of affiliation with the local community are important,” she says.

Acoustics play a major role

The institutions presented in the theme include Denmark’s largest institution in Copenhagen, two other institutions in Copenhagen and one in Trondheim, Norway. The theme also focuses on Huset Nyvang in Denmark, where a nursing home and kindergarten have been gathered under one roof. All of the above institutions use Troldtekt acoustic solutions as part of the architecture.

Acoustics play a major role in planning institutions, emphasises Mille Sylvest from Human Studio.

“It’s very important to be aware of noise when building new kindergartens. Noise affects stress levels for both children and staff. No-one can take spending long periods of time in a noisy environment. Of course, people can function in large institutions with concrete surfaces and double-height ceilings, but not nearly as well as they would with good acoustic solutions. Lower energy levels, more sick leave and poorer learning outcomes are the direct results of noise,” she notes.

Read the new theme on childcare institutions here


  • Troldtekt is a leading developer and manufacturer of acoustic ceiling and wall solutions.
  • Since 1935, wood and cement have been the main natural raw materials in our production, which takes place in Denmark in modern facilities with a low environmental impact.
  • Troldtekt’s business strategy is founded on the Cradle to Cradle design concept, which plays a key role in securing environmental benefits.


Peer Leth, CEO, Troldtekt A/S: +45 8747 8130 //       
Tina Snedker Kristensen, Head of Marketing and Communications, Troldtekt A/S: +45 8747 8124 //  

Troldtekt A/S
Sletvej 2A
DK 8310 Tranbjerg J

The number of children is on the rise in several northern European countries, and thus also the need for new childcare institutions. It is important to take the children’s perspective in the design of the new institutions, and for the architecture to support the development of mind and body. Copyright© Helene Høyer Mikkelsen.
In the colourful Christianshavn district of Copenhagen, Denmark’s largest children’s institution has opened. By organising the built-up area into smaller and very diverse units, Børnebyen Christianshavn feels like a self-contained city on a small scale. The ceilings are mainly clad in Troldtekt acoustic panels that dampen the reverberation time and ensure good acoustics. Copyright© Helene Høyer Mikkelsen.
Henning Larsen Architects designed the daycare institution Drivhuset in Denmark - with a large common room with many windows and pleasant daylight from skylights above. The double-height common room calls for good acoustics - provided by white and black-painted Troldtekt ceilings. Copyright© Helene Høyer Mikkelsen.
Designed around a solid wood structure, this BREEAM-certified kindergarten is located in Trondheim in northern Norway. Low window sills ensure views of the great outdoors for the children, the doors are foil-coated in bright colours, and the ceilings feature Troldtekt acoustic panels. Copyright© Troldtekt A/S.
The kindergarten Himmel & Hav (Heaven & Sea) in the Danish town of Skovlunde is designed by RUBOW architects. Like stacking large bricks, the elements that make up the kindergarten have been composed around the “Red Square”, which is the institution’s focal point. Throughout the building white and black Troldtekt ceilings ensure good acoustics. Copyright© Helene Høyer Mikkelsen.