​Mary El​​izabeths Hospital

Children's Hospital Copenhagen

A new national children's hospital for the Copenhagen University Hospital. That was the assignment requested by the Capital Region of Denmark, which wanted a hospital that welcomed the children and their families to make them feel safe and at home in surroundings based on the children's needs.
  • Region Hovedstaden
  • 3XN
    Architect collaboration
  • Kristine Jensens Tegnestue
  • Location
    Blegdamsvej, Copenhagen
  • Year
    2016 -
  • Size
    58,000 m²
  • Architect
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At the very first sight, ​Mary El​​izabeths Hospital contrasts with the right angles of the Copenhagen University Hospital. Here are soft forms, green elements and warmth. A building designed for the children being treated here, who often live at the hospital for a long period of time. The building signals that here we have done something exceptional for the children, who comes from all parts of Denmark. Also, this is a building that provides a good and safe environment for children, while enabling them to take part in activities and learn and play while undergoing treatment.

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A building designed for the children

In addition to the hospital itself, the project also included a patient hotel where the hospitalised children can maintain a normalised everyday life with room for parents and any siblings. To help the children and their families feel safe and welcome, ​Mary El​​izabeths Hospital has several private zones and several types of public zones, which allows patients to choose the extent of social interaction with other patients.

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Children learn and live through play – this also holds true when they are ill. The design work is therefore founded on healing architecture, which, in addition to functional elements, focuses on play and creativity – indeed the hospital is based on the children's terms. This playful approach is reflected in the project's wavy shapes and round corners, which function like a hand with fingers spread, opening up the building towards its surroundings. Located on the outskirts of the park Fælledparken in Copenhagen, the building opens up towards the green park, and on the other side it lets in the city via its transparent façades. The green theme is further underlined by double-height rooms functioning like inviting conservatories, where patients are offered shielded access to green spaces placed no more than 20 metres from the bed units.

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As a prelude to the architectural competition, the client invited families with children connected to the Copenhagen University Hospital to a number of workshops, which later constituted the basis for the competition programme. In this way, users had the opportunity to influence and secure a project that offers the best possible conditions for a hospital dedicated to healing, learning and play.