Verstas Architects chosen to design the Puotila Primary School in a public-private partnership
The buildings and public works sub-committee of Helsinki proposes Verstas Architects to design the new Puotila Primary School. Verstas was chosen as a member of the developer Lujatalo’s team. The new school is among the first private-public partnership projects in Helsinki, known in Finland also as life-cycle projects to highlight the incentive for sustainable quality in building. Currently, Verstas designs the first such life-cycle project in Helsinki, the Vuosaari High School. In the life-cycle approach, the city owns the building, but the developer is responsible of its maintenance for 20 years, which is expected to prevent indoor air quality issues, for example. The sub-committee decided to propose the Lujatalo team in a meeting on the April 16th. The city council will finalize the decision soon.
Verstas designs the Puotila Primary School for 530 pupils and 70 early years education pupils. A zigzag facade opens classrooms to natural light while also creating sheltered, covered recesses to the school yard. Learning spaces are in two levels around a communal atrium, younger pupils on the ground level and older on the first floor. The school yard caters both for diverse play and learning. Nomaji maisema-arkkitehdit is the landscape architect and Sitowise the engineer. The new school will replace the current one and will be complete in 2022.
The teachers, pupils and their parents of the current primary school have participated in the formulation of the pedagogic plan and the new learning space will be pedagogically versatile. The new school will also double as gathering and recreational space for the residents in Puotila, who have wished improvements in the area. The new primary school will amend the lack of sports and reacreation spaces in Puotila and Verstas has designed it for active civic use.