BørneRiget will be playfully logical and designed for the everyday life of children, adolescents, pregnant women and their families

​​The new hospital wing for children, adolescents and pregnant women at Rigshospitalet, BørneRiget, will have a distinctive characteristic; a building shaped as two hands gathering all children, adolescents and women in labour under one roof while taking care of the whole family.

The ambitions are high for the new hospital construction: To revolutionize the experience before, during and after the treatment. Gone is the feeling of life coming to a standstill while being hospitalized and gone are the incoherent courses of treatment. The new building creates a framework that provides families the opportunity of being together as a family while having the most regular and safe everyday life as possible. 

The general principle at BørneRiget lies in the fact that the specialists come to the child, the adolescents, the women in labour and the family – not the other way around. At BørneRiget, treatment, care, research, education, technology and architecture are thought together as an integrated solution. The child’s play is integrated in the treatment itself as a common thread throughout the entire process.

Playfully logical with fingers as the general principle

The architecture firm, 3XN A/S won the design contest to build the new BørneRiget with their design ‘Playfully Logical’, which symbolically takes its point of departure in two hands that stretch theirs ‘fingers’ into the light, into the city and into the green. The design was revealed at Rigshospitalet on the 23rd of August 2017. 3XN has prepared the design proposal in collaboration with Arkitema Architects K/S, NIRAS, Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue and Rosan Bosch.

The hands are, as an organisational principle, implemented in the entire building with a clearly marked public centre, which provides a lounge area for the family who make up the wrist. Each ‘finger’ provides bays and at the end of each finger winter gardens, stretching to the second floor, unfold with different themes and experiences that accommodate the various patients’ needs – the woman in labour as well the teenager. The finger design ensures short distances to the individual bays in all fingers and simultaneously ensures a distance of maximum 7 – 20 metres from each bay to the nearest garden – as in an ordinary house.

Visions are becoming reality

The project proposal arouses great excitement at the Capital Region of Denmark, which has donated DKK 1.4 billion for the project, Ole Kirk’s Foundation, which has donated DKK 0.6 billion and the panel of judges as well as the involved managers, employees and users who have been part of developing the visions and wishes for BørneRiget from the very beginning.

- BørneRiget gives children, adolescents and pregnant women a safe and modern experience at the hospital. Children will not stop playing because they become ill and BørneRiget can and will support this fact. I like the symbolism in the hand, as we hold the hand under people who are facing a difficult situation in their lives. At BørneRiget it is possible to maintain an everyday life as normal as possible while being treated and that is of great importance, says chairwoman of the regional council, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (S).

Safety for children and their families

Ole Kirk’s Foundation aims to increase the quality of life of children and their families. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, chairman of the Ole Kirk’s Foundation, says: - It is an important milestone that we now have a winner of the design contest who will create the framework of the new hospital. In Ole Kirk’s Foundation we wish to contribute to a course of treatment where care will be taken to the vulnerable position families are in when, for example, a child becomes critically ill. It is crucial that children and their families feel safe in a course of treatment and that they can maintain the best possible quality of life. There has to be room for the family to have a nice time together; there has to be room for play, care and diversion in order for the child and the family to have a breathing space from all the concerns.

A strong icon that meets the users’ demands

Specialist judge, Anders Danøe, explains the choice behind the winner; - The building has a sculpturally strong appearance and will become an icon for BørneRiget with its playful and inviting mode of expression. It is a building that meets a lot of the users’ many demands and wishes for a building that needs to be clinically efficient and at the same time provide safety for children, adolescents and families. A project that in every way deserves its central location in Copenhagen’s skyline with the headline: The world’s best hospital for children and family, nothing less.

Read more about the project at rigshospitalet.dk/boerneriget.

Visions and design principles

The vision of BørneRiget is to establish the world’s best hospital for children, adolescents and their families. Five design principles ought to guide the building as well as the organisation:

  • Integrated play: The play will be an integrated part of BørneRiget’s design, life and course.
  • Designed for everyday life: Everyday life is the reality. The world inside and outside will go hand in hand at BørneRiget.
  • See me, ask me, let me: Patients will get back the feeling of control through the little things.
  • The good journey: The patient journey at BørneRiget will start well, make sense and celebrate progress.
  • Clear zones: BørneRiget will be a building, which is intuitively easy to find your way around in and tells you what you have to, are allowed to and are able to.

Facts about BørneRiget

  • The building will make up 58,000 m2 distributed throughout 9 floors

When the hospital opens in 2024, it will include:

  • 176 beds for children and adolescents
  • 43 beds for adults
  • 15 operating rooms
  • 14 delivery rooms
  • 50 pre- and post operative beds
  • 18 day hospital beds for children and adolescents
  • 57 ambulatory rooms for children and adolescents
  • 30 ambulatory rooms for adults
  • 1 diagnostic centre with nuclear diagnostics 

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