FREDERIKSBERG - The new Smørblomsten Kindergarten in Frederiksberg is designed by COBE as a caricature of how a child might draw a house, with seamless black and white forms and a skyline of simple pitched roofs. But it took a lot of work to get such a simple expression, project architect Eik Bjerregaard explains. The windows were carefully detailed to look frameless ‘like a child might forget to draw the frames’, and the roofline is uncluttered thanks to hidden drainage details, precise material connections, and insetting solar panels flat to the roof surface.

Smørblomsten is the largest kindergarden in this area, housing 200 children from ages 6 months to 6 years. From the first idea Bjerregaard said they were concerned with scale, material, and colour to ensure ‘it looks and feels like a home for children. It shouldn’t seem like a factory.’

The concept is a series of simple, wood houses arranged in different orientations on the site with further little houses inside. Students come into a main ‘village’ entrance and then take a corridor to ‘their house’. The interiors are simply detailed and high-concept like the exterior. The classrooms are stacked around white, skylit, central staircases which then form internal courtyards for the students. These industrial metal staircases are clad in fine aluminum mesh, a playful and unexpected material that seems like a fish net, keeping the flows of noise and air, but catching any falling toys or shoes. COBE designed many quirky details like tiny window seats for peering over atria and movable bunk-bed sleeping houses for the terraces to suit the Danish babies that nap outdoors in all seasons. Each classroom has an indoor-outdoor play area, expressed as the open, wood-wrapped buildings on the site. The older use theirs for sports and play, trying to compensate for the urban site’s small playground.

Photos Rasmus Hjortshøj / Coast