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, except
    *Tuomas Uusheimo

    Kari Campus education, sports and leisure centre in Rauma by Verstas Architects

    The Kari Campus in Rauma gathers several important […]

    Kari Campus education, sports and leisure centre
    Read
    Exterior view of the Vuosaari high school by Verstas Architects

    The new high school will be centrally located […]

    Vuosaari High School
    Read
    A lobby and stairs in the Aalto University School of Business designed by Verstas Architects

    New building for the Aalto University School of Business

    Aalto University School of Business
    Read

    Aalto University Väre building housing the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

    Aalto University Väre Building
    Read

    Multipurpose education centre in Turku.

    Syvälahti Education Centre
    Read

    Bilingual comprehensive school in Helsinki.

    Jätkäsaari school competition
    Read

    Multi-purpose school building for 750 pupils in Espoo, Finland.

    Saunalahti School
    Read

    Comprehensive school for 770 pupils in Espoo, Finland.

    Kirkkojärvi School
    Read

    Private high school campus near Moscow, Russia.

    Moscow Larevo School Campus competition
    Read

    Multi-purpose communal building in Turku, Finland.

    Hirvensalo School
    Read

    A friendly fortress.

    Aurinkokivi School competition
    Read

    City center campus library of the University of Helsinki.

    University of Helsinki Central Campus Library competition
    Read