BørneRiget will be playfully logical and designed for children young people pregnant women and their families

​The new hospital wing for children, young people and expecting mothers at Rigshospitalet - BørneRiget - will have a very special characteristic. The building is shaped as two hands gathering all children, young people and pregnant women under one roof and embracing the whole family.

The new hospital project has high ambitions: To revolutionise the experience before, during and after treatment. No more feeling like life has been put on hold while you are in hospital, and no more incoherent treatment plans.

The new building will also make room for patients and their families to spend time together as a family and live an everyday life that is safe and as close to outside life as possible. 

The pervading principle for BørneRiget is that specialists will come to the child, the young person, the pregnant woman and the family: not the other way around. In the new hospital, treatment, care, research, education, technology and architecture have been coordinated into a single integrated solution.

Children’s play is an integrated part of the treatment itself as a red thread throughout the course of treatment. 

Playfully logical with the outstretched hand as a pervading principle

The architects 3XN A/S won the competition to build the new BørneRiget with their “Playfully Logical” project, which is symbolically based on two hands with fingers stretched out into the light, the city and nature.

This was announced at Rigshospitalet on 23 August 2017. 3XN had prepared their proposal in collaboration with Arkitema Architects K/S, NIRAS, Arkitekt Kristine Jensens Tegnestue and Rosan Bosch.

The principle of the hands permeates the whole building, with the wrist comprising a public centre and lounge area for the whole family. Each finger contains wards, and the end of the fingers open out into two-storey winter gardens with different themes and experiences adapted to the needs of the different patients, from pregnant women to young children and teenagers.

The finger design ensures shorter distances to the individual wards in each finger, and that there is a maximum of 7-20 metres to the nearest garden: just like in an ordinary house. 

The visions become reality

The project proposal was greeted with great enthusiasm from the Capital Region of Denmark, which donated DKK 1.4 bn. to the project, and Ole Kirk’s Fond, which donated DKK 0.6 bn., as well as the judges’ committee and the managers, staff and users involved in the project, who since the very start have helped develop visions and wishes for BørneRiget. 

“BørneRiget gives children, young people and pregnant women a safe and modern hospital experience. Children will not stop playing “just” because they are taken ill, and BørneRiget lets play continue. 

I like the symbolism in the hands, because we give people a helping hand during a difficult period in their lives. At BørneRiget, patients can maintain as normal life as possible while they are under treatment and that’s important,” said Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (Social Democrats), Chairman of the Regional Council.

Children and their family can feel safe and at home 

Ole Kirk’s Fond works to promote quality of life for children and their families. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, chairman of Ole Kirk’s Fond said: “That we now have a winner of the project competition to establish the framework for the new hospital is an important milestone.

At Ole Kirk’s Fond, we want to contribute to treatment programmes that give a helping hand in the vulnerable situation that families face when a child falls seriously ill, for example. It’s crucial that children and their families feel safe during the course of the child’s treatment, and that they are able to maintain the best possible quality of life. 

The family should be able to spend time together, and there should be room for play, care and recreation, so that both the child and the family can take a break from their concerns.” 

A strong icon that meets user demands

Anders Danøe, one of the expert judges, explained about the choice of winner: “The building has a sculpturally strong expression and it will become an icon for BørneRiget, with a playful and welcoming building. 

The building meets the majority of the huge number of user requirements and wishes for a building that is both clinically effective and can provide calm and comfort for children, young people and their families. 

The project earns in every way its central location in the Copenhagen skyline with the heading: The world’s best hospital for children and their families: no less.”  

Visions and design principles

The vision for BørneRiget is to create the world’s best hospital for children, young people, pregnant women and their families.  Five design principles will direct the building and organisation:

  • Integrated play: Play will be an integral part of the design of BørneRiget and of life and treatment in the new building.
  • Designed for everyday life: Everyday life is the reality. The world outside and inside will be synchronised at BørneRiget.
  • See me, ask me, let me: Patients will feel that they have regained control through the small things.
  • The good journey: The patient journey at BørneRiget will start well, be cohesive, and celebrate progress.
  • Clear zones: BørneRiget will be a building in which navigation is intuitive and which tells you what you must, may and can do.

Facts about BørneRiget

  • •The building will have 58,000 m2 floorspace on nine floors.

When the hospital opens in 2024 it will house:

  • 176 beds for children and young people
  • 43 beds for adults
  • 15 operating theatres
  • 14 delivery rooms
  • 50 recovery beds
  • 18 outpatient beds for children and young people
  • 57 outpatient rooms for children and young people
  • 30 outpatient rooms for adults
  • 1 general and nuclear diagnostics unit

Press contact:

  • Capital Region of Denmark: Chairman of the Regional Council, Sophie Hæstorp Andersen (Social Democrats) through the press office at the Capital Region of Denmark: tel. + 45 70 20 95 88
  • Ole Kirk’s Fond, Head of Communication, Ulla Lundhus: tel. +45 53 19 47 67
  • Rigshospitalet: Project Director, Bent Ottesen: tel. +21 40 45 28 73, or Linda Svenstrup  Munk, Press Consultant: tel. +45 22 96 68 98.
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