Sølund Retirement Community




The ambition for the project has been to create a new, state-of-the-art retirement community that challenges traditional approaches to retirement communities and offer the elderly a contemporary, rational framework for their everyday lives. The building comprises facilities for rehabilitation and therapy, information and counselling, small-scale grocery shopping, dining, gatherings and club activities for the residents and elderly people from the local community.

Relatives will experience Sølund as a welcoming, attractive place to visit – offering ample daylight, beautiful green surroundings for recreation and activity, the sound of playing children and peaceful terraces with a view of the Lakes. Self-reliant residents and guests access the building through a stairway, which serves to reduce the institutional character.

By drawing back the building block in selected places, the proposal introduces an arrival and transit square by the main entrance as well as an attractive outdoor space for the daycare centre towards the Lakes. The daycare centre and residents’ garden are divided by means of a number of inspiring green structures, raised garden beds, a varied terrain and shielding playing fixtures.

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Project facts

Project facts

Location: Copenhagen
Client: KAB
Gross floor area: 38,500 m2
Year of design: 2012 - 2012
Type of assignment: 2nd prize in international competition
Team: Henning Larsen Architects, BBP Arkitekter, Architect Ole Andersen, Schul Landscape Architects, Henrik Larsen Consulting Engineers and Hundsbæk og Henriksen Consulting Engineers

Worthy elder care

Worthy elder care

Life at Sølund should incorporate the qualities of the residents' previous homes in a new retirement community based on worthiness and well-being, safety and social relations. Uninstitutional dwellings, attractive, bright spaces and terraces in luxuriant, green outdoor spaces are key objectives. 

An elderly home is a home. The residents live there 365 days a year and many residents are not able to get around much. This calls for homely spaces and meaningful activities.

The garden spaces provide the opportunity for simple activities that do now require preparation. Thus, the recreational environment is continued in the outdoor space, which does not pose any requirements on the users. Some residents walk a lot and need a reason to stop and explore; others are not able to walk very far and need inspiration even on a short stroll. Thus, the proposal introduces a varied selection of outdoor spaces, both in direct connection to the building and in the garden - a wide range of recreational areas as well as large and small terraces with varied degrees of sun and shade, views and sensuous stimuli.

Sølund offers room for the individual, while at the same time offering a variety of activities that stimulate body and soul and help the residents to maintain and perhaps regain skills. Sølund offers a worthy transition from being self-reliant to gradually becoming more in need of care.



Sølund should be a sustainable retirement community that spearheads the development of flexible and innovative elderly housing. Focus has been on minimising energy consumption, while at the same time ensuring an optimal indoor air quality. 

The need for energy is minimised by optimising the passive properties of the building design. The energy consumption has continuously been simulated through studies of volumes, materials, room heights, light and shade, noise, wind and utility value of indoor and outdoor spaces. Subsequently, efficient technical installations for heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting have further reduced the energy consumption. 

The applied method has resulted in a building that meets the energy requirements of Danish building regulations 2015 without use of energy-producing measures. The dwellings have a total energy consumption of 30.0 kWh/m2/year, while the daycare centre, service and commercial functions offer an energy consumption of 39.8 kWh/m2/year. By adding a 520 m2 solar cell system on the roof, it will be possible to reach an energy consumption of just 19.8 kWh/m2/year for the dwellings and 24.8 kWh/m2/year for the daycare centre, service and commercial functions. The building would thus meet the energy requirements of Danish building regulations 2020 - in addition to the 2020 requirements for compactness and low energy consumption for ventilation. 


  • Copenhagen


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