Råå Preschool

Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter

Design: Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter.
Location: Råå, Sweden.
Built area: 525 sq.m.
Client: City of Helsingborg.
Awards: Skåne’s (Scania) Architecture Prize for best building 2014; ICONIC AWARD 2015 - “Architecture - Public with distinction”.
Photographs: Adam Mørk.

Situated on the scenic beach between the old Råå School and the Sea/ Øresund, the children’s day care center embedded in the dune forms a conspicuously inconspicuous silhouette against the green and sand-colored setting of the small Swedish fishing village.


Yet despite matching the surroundings in shape and color, the building is an unusual eye-catcher.


The design of the building is based on the surrounding landscape, with its flat slightly sloping dunes and the distinctive typology of the small fishermen’s houses that originally stood on the dune-covered coastal strip.


The day care center comprises four reinterpretations of these huts, set in a staggered arrangement and held together by a roof structure that stretches beyond their confines. Clad in the same wooden slats as the outer walls, this upper covering seems to continue the surrounding landscape onto the building, thus bringing about a visual interplay of architecture and nature.

RÅÅ Concept Diagram

Axonometric View

Acting as group rooms, the four above-mentioned “huts” form the core of the day care center and, as such, are are connected by spacious multi-functional areas spanned by the sharply contoured roof. The facility is also directly linked to the adjacent primary school of Råå.


The large windows in the façade and roof create a close connection with the sea and the surrounding landscape, and they provide ideal daylight conditions all year round.


The entire exterior is covered in long strips of multi-tonal Robinia wood, creating a weathered appearance.


Shallow steps run up the sides of the gently ramped roof, while triangular shards of glazing create windows that follow the angles of the walls and roof.

Engineer: Tyréns AB.
Energy consultant: AF Consult & Sweco.
Landscape architecture: Marklaget AB.