Copenhagen Gallery

Flintholm Retirement Home

Flintholm Care Home is a five-storey ellipse-shaped building complex with fifty dwellings for elderly people.

The district around Flintholm Station in Frederiksberg is rapidly changing from an industrial area to a more conventional urban and residential area. In brief, a new city district is emerging.

One element of this change was the futuristic Flintholm Station with a 5000 m2 glass roof, which was inaugurated in 2004. The station was the first sign that a new city district called Flintholm was emerging. The district is located at the edge of Frederiksberg Municipality, and Frederiksberg Local Authority is behind the development of the 100,000 m2 area.

In addition to housing, the district will have schools, day-care facilities, shops, commercial premises, a cultural centre, new roads, squares, and large green areas. The plan is to build a number of open residential blocks interconnected by a park. In a central location in this park is the Flintholm Care Home facility.

Flintholm Care Home

Flintholm Care Home is a five-storey ellipse-shaped building complex with fifty dwellings for elderly people.

The top four floors are used for residential purposes, whereas the ground floor contains the main entrance area and all service functions and staff facilities, along with access to the park.

Focus on the close community

The building complex was designed by Frederiksen & Knudsen Architects on the basis of the theme "Focus on Community". That the focus is in fact on the community of residents is evident in many ways, one being that there are very few conventional hallways and corridors. Instead, the architects have designed large communal areas that start immediately outside each individual housing unit.

All fifty housing units are placed along the outside walls of the ellipse-shaped building, which means that, when going out of their own front door, residents go directly into communal areas, including rooms with seating, eating areas, shared kitchen facilities and a TV corner.

The ellipse

Designing a building with five levels was in fact a major challenge, says Thomas Kröll of Frederiksen & Knudsen Architects. The maximum building height allowed was 16.5 metres, so in order to ensure that there would be room for the top level it was necessary to lower the ground floor into the terrain.

Kröll also explains why the building is shaped like an ellipse: "As I said, the guiding theme for the project was to keep the focus on the community of residents, but how do you design a building that fosters a sense of community? The ellipse shape is good because it makes the area in the middle of the building narrower and therefore easier to connect to all residential units in the complex. The shape thus helps to realise the wish to have fewer corridors and more space in which residents can socialise."

Detached, compact building

Frederiksen & Knudsen Architects wanted the care home facilities to be accommodated in a detached building, despite the relatively small building site and neighbouring buildings very close by. This turned out to be quite a challenge, but one that could be overcome using an ellipse shape. By elongating the building plan and turning it into an ellipse, the architects gave the building a shape that matches the site much better, and the building became extremely compact.

Experts in care homes

In recent years, Frederiksen & Knudsen Architects have designed about twenty different care and nursing homes for elderly people, mainly on the island of Zealand. The care home facility at Flintholm is the latest addition to the list.

Read more about Frederiksen & Knudsen's projects at

Last updated Tuesday, January 21, 2014