Sustainability and physical activity for children

For children at the sports kindergarten Rymarksvej, physical activity and exercise are key components of their daily lives. The institution has a strong focus on physical activity and movement indoors as well as outdoors, which is clearly reflected in the design of the new building.

Troldtekt Sports kindergarten, Rymarksvej, Hellerup
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect

The kindergarten is tucked away in a green area near the Ryvangen Memorial Park in northern Copenhagen, and is a so-called outlying kindergarten, which means that the children are taken there by bus. The building is elongated and rationally structured, and blends in well with its surroundings, which was the site of former army barracks.

The building has a solid wood structure, and even has grass on the roof. The kindergarten’s seven rooms along its northern facade all have doors opening to the outside, while along the southern facade facing the playground are the cloakrooms, an office and three large multifunctional playrooms which are equipped for play and movement. Daylight plays a significant role in the architecture. In addition to large window sections, skylights also permit the influx of natural daylight into the bathrooms and the large playrooms. The wood structure is visible right up to the top of the ceiling and naturally divides the functions.

Carefully selected materials

Wood has been used for the basic construction, but also as perforated veneer panels on the walls, and on the ceiling in the form of Troldtekt acoustic panels in natural wood. The floors are green linoleum. The choice of materials produces calm rooms and a robust kindergarten, which can withstand children playing at full throttle and matching sound levels. The materials have been coordinated with great sensitivity for the contributions made by the individual details to the overall design.

The kindergarten is constructed in accordance with sustainable principles, and is a pilot project for German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) certification. The institution was built according to the Green Building Council Denmark’s sustainability principles, which has a key bearing on the choice of materials, durability and life-cycle costs.

“We have created a building which is consistent in the choice of materials, which is robust, and which actively relates to its users. It must be able to stand up to hard use. In addition, from the outset, one of the ambitions was to focus on social education and movement – and let the architecture reflect this,” says Uffe Bay-Smidt, partner at KANT arkitekter.