Serving both children and neighbourhood
VANTAA (FI) - A new school and day-care building by Linja Architects has recently been inaugurated, located in Vantaa, in the metropolitan area of Helsinki.
Linja Architects is an up-and-coming firm in the Finnish architecture scene. The partners received their education in Oulu, and are based there as well. The school is situated in a suburb comprised of single-family houses. It also offers recreational facilities for use in the evenings. Additionally, the building houses a dental clinic and a club and activity spaces for teenagers and adults alike. These areas can be accessed separately from the school itself.
When completed, the plan will look like a pair of shorts with suspenders. In the centre there is an indoor piazza-like dining hall, adorned with an open staircase and some crossover bridges. The teachers can observe the hall from their own spaces on the top floor. Some classrooms also have windows overlooking this piazza.
The colour scheme in the interior is light, with touches of grey and mild green. The furniture in the classrooms was not the responsibility of the architects, and this, unfortunately, is a minus.
The aula/dining hall has been furnished with Alvar Aalto classics. They generate a nice dialogue with the staircase and its organic forms, which were created for functional purposes as well. The planners wanted to ensure that nobody would be able to throw items into the soup plates underneath, so the architects solved the problem by creating undulating lines and curvatures. The open staircase is now an adornment in the main space, also offering nice glimpses downwards.
The building replaces a birch forest, so the architects chose a soft, wave-like silhouette and various shades of green for its exterior. The outdoor spaces for each age group are nicely distributed so that the small children have a protected playground of their own. The older students can reach their own playgrounds via ramps. The cavern-like outdoor terrace makes a nice counterpoint to the large dining hall inside.
Monday | 26 December | 2011 | Finland | Tarja Nurmi