Childcare institution with nature indoors and out

The new sustainable district of Nye is gradually taking shape on the outskirts of Aarhus, and more and more children are now being enrolled at Løvstikken childcare institution.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings in institution for children and youth
Photo: Helene Høyer Mikkelsen, architect MAA

Nye promotes a focus on living a happy family life and connecting with the natural surroundings. Surface water is collected and treated locally before being used in people’s homes for laundry or flushing the toilet. The housing projects have mostly been built with sustainability in mind, but also to a high architectural standard.

The Løvstikken building is also well thought out in terms of sustainable materials and solutions. The compact two-storey building provides a natural flow in the day-to-day learning environment. Kindergarten children are gathered in two clusters upstairs – each consisting of three groups with their own staircase to the playground. Similarly, the ground floor has two clusters of nursery-age children, who have level access to the playground.

At the heart of the complex is a central staircase that functions like a hinge, connecting the building. Daylight floods into the central area through windows situated above the stairs, and also illuminates the art hanging above the stairs and in small cabinets which have lamps that can be switched on by the children. The artist Lise Haurum is behind the nature-themed décor.

Great design solutions

Løvstikken is organised with three group rooms sharing a common area containing kitchen facilities and a large bathroom. The group rooms receive plenty of daylight, while offering inspiring views from all the windows. The light is reflected from the ceiling by the white Troldtekt acoustic panels, which perform an important function for the building’s acoustics. Small, square Troldtekt panels are used, continuing elegantly down the wall surface in areas delineated by a white frame.

In the central space, the small scale is also framed with little play boxes with windows overlooking the atrium area. They are executed in plywood like the lift shaft next to the main staircase, adding warmth to this large open space.