Drømmebakken Kindergarten

From Council Office to the ultimate kindergarten

Forty-nine modular skylights bring light into the lives of the children of Aarup, Denmark

The old Aarup Town Hall would not immediately spring to mind as the setting for a modern kindergarten. The extensive buildings spread out like large flat blocks in the landscape and are witness to a building style that owed more to occupying square metres than letting in light and air.

Today, these buildings are home to ’Drømmebakken’, Aarup’s new kindergarten, with 125 children in the kindergarten section and 25 in the day care nursery. Should one of the old town hall employees suddenly find themselves back in their old workplace, they would have difficulty recognising it. The buildings have been opened up in eleven places with the installation of no fewer than forty-nine modular skylights.

The result is a building that feels light, fresh and inviting, even on an overcast day – a building that invites to play.

Bringing light into hard-to-reach spaces

On January 1st, 2011, the District Council were packing their bags to move south towards Assens. The new Danish local authority reform meant that the old town hall had become superfluous and one of Aarup’s most central buildings had become available. This gave the Council an brilliant idea.

It had long been a plan to consolidate all of Aarup’s smaller kindergartens into a larger unit, so the deserted buildings seemed to be an answer to the Council’s prayers. The only problem was the building’s architecture, which made its rooms dark, damp and anything other than child-friendly.

How could one get light and air into a building with areas that were in many instances over 20 metres from the facade windows?

CASA architects solved the conundrum with the help of VELUX Modular Skylights

Birgit Rasmussen, CASA Architects

"At the moment we’re doing a lot of renovation, refurbishing and extension work, and in this project daylight is very important. So I can easily imagine that we will use them [VELUX Modular Skylights] again.

Birgit Rasmussen, CASA Architects

Controlling the indoor environment

From project inception, Council building consultant Ib Meldgaard has managed the solutions proposed by the architects and he is pleased with the reactions he has received now that the building is occupied once again. He is especially pleased with the technology built into the system.

“The kindergarten are very enthusiastic and I also think it has worked out very well. We have a skylight solution that looks like normal windows – and it’s all automatic, with natural ventilation and windows that open and shut themselves. It’s all controlled by a WindowMaster system that also controls the underfloor heating. There are sensors in various places that measure temperature and CO2. If the CO2-level is too high, the system makes sure that new fresh air flows into the kindergarten. If the temperature is too high, the system reduces the underfloor heating and opens the skylights,” he explains.

Facts about the project

The planning phase 

  • The refurbishing project began immediately after the local authority moved out and took about 12 months.
  • The contract was signed with VELUX Denmark on July 1st, 2011.
  • The installation took place between November 15th and 16th, 2011.
  • There were six planning and construction meetings in all. 

The participants 

  • The construction group was comprised of the responsible architect from CASA Architects, a building consultant from Assens Municipality and two representatives from the VELUX Group.
  • The project architects were CASA architects, owned by Birgit Rasmussen.
  • The installer was master joiner Klaus Lebæk.

The product solution 

  • 11 longlights placed in various parts of the building. 
  • 49 modular skylights 90x240 cm.
  • 30 of the modules are venting.
  • 5° pitch.

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