Børnebyen på Christianshavn


Photo: Rasmus HjortshøjCOBE

This daycare center, which serves 700 children, has been radically built to scale for small children. The entire place is designed as a city just for children.

Welcome to Denmark’s largest daycare centre. Designed for more than 700 children, the building is located in the charming Christianshavn neighbourhood, with the famous Freetown Christiania as its neighbour. It’s a project that has completely rethought the way daycare architecture is created.

Despite serving three times the users of an average Danish childcare centre, Børnebyen’s small scale and varied character meet children at eye level. It’s a tiny city within a city, hence the name ‘the Child City’.

Approaching Børnebyen from Prinsessegade, visitors walk through a golden city gate and enter a mini landscape of twisted roads that buzz with life between the buildings as moon cars and children’s bikes rush by. The area is a playful cluster of small buildings connecting to the surrounding city – and like Copenhagen itself, it creates an adventurous mix of different neighbourhoods, houses, squares, parks and public spaces. It even features a fire station, a city hall, a stadium, a factory, a restaurant and a golden ball sports cage on the roof.

With its small scale and intimate feeling, Børnebyen is a safe and playful environment that prepares children for the bustling city beyond its boundaries. And it’s a remarkable example of how great architecture can benefit even the smallest of people.