Børnekulturhus Ama’r


Photo: Bo Bolther

This is one of the first cultural centers developed explicitly for children and with architecture as the foundation for creativity, play and learning.

The building is adjacent to Musiktorvet (Music Square) on Øresundsvej, and is the first of its kind in Denmark, developed from the ground up in collaboration with its future users.

The building was envisioned for children – but also very much envisioned by children. Artist Kerstin Bergendal conducted a number of workshops over a two-year period, in which future users of the center, children from the neighborhood and teachers from neighboring institutions made drawings and models, thereby contributing to the work of designing the building and its interiors.

A magnet for children

The location of the children’s cultural center next to Musiktorvet on Øresundsvej is part of the overall vision of creating a cultural center for the benefit of the neighborhood and, eventually, the city of Copenhagen as a whole. By creating a new gathering point for children, the hope is also to uplift the area and make sure that more families with children stay in the neighborhood instead of moving to other parts of the city.

Harmonic and eye-catching

The building itself is located on a corner between two existing buildings and is envisioned as an extension of the existing end walls. On one side is a tall block building, and on the other a smaller longhouse, so the cultural center slopes down in height from one end to the other.

On the corner, the building shell is reduced down to one-story in height, preserving the view and daylight in the courtyard behind the building.

Flexible interiors

The interior of the building is designed in a series of staggered planes and an open “entrance square”, from which the building’s different rooms and functions undulate up and down at varying levels.

The building’s spaces are designed so that they can be used for many different activities. At one end of the building are three workshop rooms, connected by an activity staircase/climbing hill. The workshops are flexible, so their function can change over time. At the opposite end of the building is a room for movement and performance.

Throughout the house there are many caves and niches that can be custom-furnished and made “off limits” for adults. The interior surfaces were chosen to ensure high durability and variation in textures. The outer walls and ceilings are in painted or raw concrete. The floor at the ground level is in lacquered concrete, serving as an extension of the square outside.

Yet another Madrup’ian cultural center

With this children’s cultural center, Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter once again makes its mark as an expert supplier of cultural buildings in Amager. In 2001, Mandrup’s Citizen’s and Cultural Center opened on Holmbladsgade, and in 2006 it was joined by the sports and cultural center “The Prism”. And then, in 2011, Børnekulturhuset Ama’r was built.