Playfully logical. Like two hands that join in a warm handshake. Hands whose fingers stretch out into the city, nature and, well, life. This is the ideology behind the winning project proposal in the competition to create the world’s best children’s hospital on a 12,000 m2 plot near Rigshospitalet, the national hospital in Copenhagen. The new children’s hospital, called BørneRiget, will also serve pregnant women. The building, which will comprise 58,000 m2 at a cost of about €270 m, will open its doors in 2024. In collaboration with Arkitema Architects K/S, NIRAS, Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue and Rosan Bosch, 3XN architects will design the new children’s hospital.
The LEGO family played a decisive role in the selection of 3XN architects, who are exceedingly pleased to have won the competition to design Rigshospitalet’s new children’s hospital.
Ole Kirks Fond donated no less than €80 million to the total budget of approximately €270 million. The Capital Region of Denmark will finance the rest of the construction costs. When the winning proposal was presented, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, third-generation owner of LEGO, proclaimed:
“Today is an important day, where we take a giant step forward in the effort to create the world’s best children’s hospital. My wife and I were contacted by Rigshospitalet back in 2011 and it became clear to us that this project was different. A vital aspect of the project was to focus on the children’s needs and that of the individual family. Children need to feel as safe and comfortable as possible – just as it is crucial to create space for play, care and fun. In short: To remove the worries.” Kristiansen stressed that the emphasis on play is what made it easy for the fund to support the project.
In her brief introductory speech Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, chair of the Regional Council, explained that part of the project involved examining experiences and solutions in other parts of the world:
“The goal was to create a children’s hospital where the health care staff clearly came to the patient and not the reverse. We sent people out into the world to find the best of the best. But also to find out how children behave when they’re sick and when they’re well. Our collaboration with Ole Kirks Fond has been superb, but right from the outset everyone agreed that it was a question of more than just LEGO architecture and a box of LEGO in the corner. It was essential that the individual children and their families were the driving force.”
Hæstorp Andersen also emphasised that it was more than just a question of putting up a building:
“Our goal is that the new children’s hospital will incorporate the latest knowledge and a healing architecture.”
When the new children’s hospital is complete in 2024, much will have been turned on its head.
Project Director Bent Ottesen highlights the fact that all medical specialties related to children, pregnant women – and their families – will be gathered in one place, where the experts come to the children. Today children are moved back and forth in the regular hospital for treatment in the various clinics and outpatient departments that comprise a modern hospital.
Young families currently experience relatively poor conditions when sick children are admitted for a long period of time. This can have serious consequences for the family. The improved setup at the new children’s hospital, however, will allow the family to stay with their child.
The four years allocated for construction include the period for the tender and choosing contractors to build and take responsibility for construction. Not much activity will take place on the construction site during the initial phase besides engineering the site and setting up cranes. After about a year the process will begin to accelerate when the concrete structures and facade go up. During the final phase most of the activity will take place indoors, without much activity visible on the outside.
Facts about the new children’s hospital
- 58,000 kvm2 spread out over 9 floors
- 176 beds for children and adolescents
- 43 beds for adults
- 15 operating rooms
- 14 labour wards
- 50 recovery beds
- 18 day hospital slots for children and adolescents
- 57 outpatient department slots for children and adolescents
- 30 outpatient department slots for adults
- 1 general and nuclear diagnostic unit
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