‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

• November 28, 2009

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD 1 595x396 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House, image courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD DIAGRAM 595x433 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House, diagram courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House by C. F Møller Architects has recently been inaugurated. This integrated kindergarten is one of the passive house in Denmark that using a minimum of energy.

The fundamental architectural concept is a simple and clear geometric form on two levels, with the children’s areas located in the best-lit southern end. The two levels are linked by staircases and ramps which are designed to stimulate and challenge the children’s sensory and motor skills.

C. F Møller Architects

+ Project description courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

The integrated kindergarten ‘Dragen’ sets new standards, as a sustainable and pedagogically thought-through design. The components are largely ‘Nordic Swan’ eco-labelled. The construction is a certified passive-house, using a minimum of energy. And the children’s needs and well-being has been the main driver in the design.

The fundamental architectural concept is a simple and clear geometric form on two levels, with the children’s areas located in the best-lit southern end. The two levels are linked by staircases and ramps which are designed to stimulate and challenge the children’s sensory and motor skills.

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD 4 595x396 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House, image courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

There is far more space available than in traditional kindergartens, and there is a pedagogical idea to the interior design. The entire architecture is supporting the ambitions Odense Municipality has for the children’s development – namely that they enjoy attractive and challenging surroundings for learning and growing

Odense’s councilwoman for Children & Young People’s Services, Jane Jegind.

As an example, the Children’s House Dragen has small niches distributed throughout, where children can play, read or just withdraw. The total area is 414 m2 of play space for the 88 children (44 in the kindergarten and 44 in the crèche), which is far more than the minimum standards of 268 m2. This will reduce the risk for spreading of illness, and generally make room for more activities.

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD 5 595x396 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House, image courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

In addition, there are purpose-built spaces, giving the children special opportunities: There is a small theatre, atelier, motor skills room and pedagogical kitchens indoors and out. Another feature are small ‘loopholes’ in the walls, allowing kids to play across the room divisions.

Healthy building

The building respects the environment, energy-savings and not least the health of the children and employees. The highly insulated construction will consume less than 20 percent of the energy used for a standard building.

Passive-houses built of healthy materials have also been proven to reduce the spreading of flues, meaning fewer sick-days for children and adults.

The building is constructed from pre-fabricated wooden insulated wall segments, and generous glazed facades provide daylighting and passive solar heating. In addition the building integrates solar hot water and electricity generation and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery. A touch-screen at the entrance informs parents about the current energy-performance, and provides info and updates from the pedagogues.

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD 595x437 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House, image courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

Nordic Swan Ecolabel

Scandinavians usually associate the Nordic Swan Eco-label with commodities such as toilet paper and washing-up liquid, but now the label can also be awarded to building components. A component with the Nordic Swan Eco-label is one which has a minimal effect on the environment, and secures a good indoor climate. The use of eco-labelled building components takes into account the environmental factors throughout the entire construction process – right from the raw materials to the finished building.

Dragebakken Kindergarten is one of the first kindergartens in Denmark to be constructed using Nordic Swan Eco-labelled materials, certifying that the building imposes a minimal environmental load. The building is constructed as a passive house, which means that its energy consumption, and thereby its CO2 footprint, will be drastically reduced.

This low level of energy consumption is achieved through increased insulation, extremely air-tight structures, well-regulated ventilation and highly efficient heat recycling.
In layman’s terms, this means that the building is so well-insulated that even the children’s activities will cause the interior temperature to rise. Humidity in the rooms will be removed by air conditioning.

The actual construction process is also as sustainable as possible in all phases. Environmentally harmful materials have been rejected, and the energy consumption involved in construction will be minimised by using prefabricated elements with brief assembly times.

Construction & Supply Issues

To ensure the necessary integrity and air-tightness of the envelope, a single system of pre-fabricated wooden wall and roofing segments was adopted in the design. This means a single manufacturer and construction team where responsible for the entire outer shell, eliminating typical assembly risks at roof/wall junctions, and simplifying sealing details.

Interior walls and slabs are pre-fabricated concrete, for rapid construction of the load-bearing frame, and lateral structural strength. Window/door assemblies are a locally produced, specially adapted design, for integration into the wall segments with nearly zero heat-loss.

The finished building passed the criteria for air-tightness and heat-loss in the first test without need for additional measures, and has subsequently received the certificate from the German passive-house institute.

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD SITE PLAN 595x420 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House - Site plan, drawing courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD GRD FLR PLAN 595x611 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House - Ground floor plan, drawing courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD 1ST FLR PLAN 595x597 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House - 1st floor plan, drawing courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

Dragen Children’s House C. F. Moller plusMOOD SECTION 595x340 ‘Dragen’ Children’s House | C. F. Møller Architects

‘Dragen’ Children’s House - Section, drawing courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects

+ Project credits / data

Project: ‘Dragen’ Children’s House
Client: Odense Municipality
Size: 1100 m²
Address: Dragebakken Sanderum, Odense, Denmark
Year: 2008-2009
Architect: C. F. Møller Architects
Landscape Architect: C. F. Møller Architects
Engineers: Tækker Rådgivende Ingeniører
Photography: Uffe Johansen

+ All drawings and images courtesy of C. F. Møller Architects | Photo by Uffe Johansen

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Category: Architecture, Education

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