Saunalahti School

An active and open platform for learning, culture and community.
Saunalahti school is the focal point of the new residential area of Saunalahti. Not only a school, but a multifunctional meeting place for the neighborhood.
The building is the outcome of close collaboration between the architect and the user. Architecture has been tailored to support the pedagogical ideas of the school in pursuit of better learning results.
Openness and sense of communality were key elements in the concept of the building.
Massive concrete walls and the smoothly curving oak ceiling characterize the heart space. The large glass wall brings it together with the entrance yard.
The building supports learning also outside the classroom and encourages kids to use its spaces in open-minded and unorthodox ways.
Special emphasis is put on art and physical education.
In addition to classes 1 to 9 of the comprehensive school, the building provides spaces for day care centre, youth house and a public library service point.
The gymnastics spaces, workshop classrooms and school yards are used by the locals and several clubs in evenings and weekends.
Unique colour scheme in each home area makes it easy to orientate in the building.
The masonry of the street facade consist of horizontal, sediment-like layers of different brickwork techniques.
By the school yards red brick is complemented by wood, copper and glass.
The undulating roof allows sunlight to enter the terraced school yard.
In 2013 Saunalahti school was awarded the prize for Environmental Project of the Year.

Saunalahti School

Description:

Saunalahti school is the focal point of the new residential area of Saunalahti, an active and open platform for learning, culture and communality.

The building is the outcome of close collaboration between the architect and the user. Architecture has been tailored to support the pedagogical ideas of the school in pursuit of better learning results. The openness and the sense of community were key elements in the concept of the building. Special emphasis is put on art and physical education. The building supports learning also outside the classroom and encourages kids to use spaces in open-minded and unorthodox ways.

The heart of the building is the multi-purpose dining hall, the meeting place for all users. Massive concrete walls and the smoothly curving oak ceiling characterize the space. The large glass wall brings it together with the entrance yard. In addition to classes 1 to 9 of the comprehensive school, the building provides spaces for day care centre, youth house and a public library service point. The gymnastics spaces, workshop classrooms and school yards are used by the locals and several clubs in evenings and weekends.

The masonry of the street facade consist of horizontal, sediment-like layers of different brickwork techniques. The undulating roof allows sunlight to enter the terraced school yards, where red brick is complemented by wood, copper and glass. In the interior unique colour scheme of each of the home area makes it easy to orientate in the building.

Status:

Open competition,
1st prize, 2007.
Completed 2012.

Location:

Brinkinmäentie 1, Espoo, Finland

Program:

Comprehensive school, daycare centre, library, youth house /
10500m2

Client:

City of Espoo

Awards:

Color Award 2013 / Environmental Project of the Year 2013 / Concrete Award 2012, honorary mention

Photographs:

Andreas Meichsner
Tuomas Uusheimo

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