Frederiksvej Kindergarten in Copenhagen

Looking for early education environment & architecture inspiration? In this article, we’ll look at this project to see how it aligns with early education philosophy, how the design facilitates learning, the activities that would suit these spaces and we’ll look at how you can use elements of the design as inspiration for your own service.

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Brief Overview of the Project

The Frederiksvej Kindergarten in Copenhagen, designed by the Danish firm COBE, is a unique architectural marvel inspired by children’s drawings of houses. The kindergarten consists of 11 small house-like structures, each designed to resemble caricatures of homes with peaked roofs, as a child might draw. COBE collaborated with landscape firm Preben Skaarup, engineer Søren Jensen, and consultant Learning Spaces to bring this vision to life. The building is organized around two winter gardens, and each of the house-like volumes features a simple peaked roof and seemingly frameless windows. Inside the main kindergarten building, house-shaped structures enclose various spaces such as kitchenettes, playrooms, and baby-changing facilities. The walls are constructed from metal mesh, allowing natural light to flood the space through large skylights.

Alignment with Montessori, Steiner, or Reggio Principles

While the article does not explicitly mention Montessori, Steiner, or Reggio principles, several design elements align with these educational philosophies:

  1. Child-Centered Design: The kindergarten’s design, inspired by children’s drawings, places children at the center of the learning environment, resonating with Montessori’s child-centered approach.
  2. Connection with Nature: The presence of winter gardens and the emphasis on natural light align with Reggio and Steiner principles that stress the importance of nature in children’s learning.
  3. Diverse Spaces for Diverse Activities: The design’s emphasis on creating a variety of rooms to support diverse activities for children aligns with all three educational philosophies, which value varied learning experiences.

Facilitation of Learning

The design of the kindergarten promotes learning in several ways:

  1. Natural Light: The metal mesh walls and large skylights ensure that spaces are bathed in natural light, creating a conducive environment for learning.
  2. Diverse Spaces: The kindergarten offers a variety of rooms, supporting diverse types of activities for children in all seasons, catering to different learning styles and needs.
  3. Central Gathering Points: Two atriums in the center of the complex serve as gathering points for informal meetings and group activities, promoting collaborative learning.

Inspiring Lessons for Teachers

The unique design of the kindergarten offers teachers a versatile space to craft inspiring lessons. The house-like structures can be used to create thematic lessons around homes, communities, or architecture. The winter gardens can be utilized for nature-based lessons, and the central atriums can be transformed into stages for performances or group discussions.

Activities and Lessons Suited for this Space

  1. Nature Observations: Utilizing the winter gardens to observe plant growth or seasonal changes.
  2. Architectural Studies: Exploring the house-like structures and discussing different types of homes around the world.
  3. Role Play: Using the house-like structures for role-playing activities, such as family, community roles, or even fairy tales.
  4. Group Activities: Utilizing the central atriums for group readings, performances, or collaborative projects.

Incorporating Design Elements in Other Kindergartens

Teachers planning their kindergarten environments can draw inspiration from COBE’s design in the following ways:

  1. Child-Centered Design: Incorporate elements in the classroom that resonate with children’s perspectives, such as child-drawn art or furniture designed for their size.
  2. Natural Elements: Even without winter gardens, teachers can bring in plants, use natural materials, or design spaces to maximize natural light.
  3. Diverse Learning Spaces: Create varied spaces within the classroom for different activities – a quiet reading corner, an art space, or a group discussion area.

In conclusion, COBE’s Frederiksvej Kindergarten stands as a testament to innovative, child-centered design that not only serves functional needs but also enriches the learning experience for children.



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