Competition 1st prize 2010


Helsinki, Finland


Stage 1 completed 2016, Stage 2 in design state




8480 sqm


City of Helsinki


Kalasatama School and Day Care

Kalasatama is a new district in Helsinki. Formerly an industrial and harbor site, it is being re-developed for housing, retail and office uses.

Kalasatama will be home to an innovative building that houses a day-care center and comprehensive school for grades 1 to 9, which form a functional entity.

The school was designed to be an inviting and approachable public building. The cheerful building clearly stands out among the surrounding blocks of concrete buildings, its sculpture-like figure assuming a visible place in the urban structure between Junonkatu street and the Kalasatamanpuisto park.

It will be built in two stages. The first phase, completed in spring 2016, includes the lower wing at the north-eastern corner of the sheltered courtyard housing the day care centre and preschool education facilities, as well as sports facilities and a canteen in the middle of the building. In the second phase, the building will be extended to meander around the courtyard. That is when a dining hall, stage and library, as well as study facilities for older students will be built. The building will be completed in 2020, when it will have approximately 700 pupils.

The meandering building has a reinforced concrete frame. The floors 
are concrete cast on site, and the wavy roof over the ceiling is of wooden construction. The long eaves of the roof protect the structures. On the courtyard side, there is a canopied corridor of steel construction surrounding the building. The distinctive external wall of the school building was created by playing with different colours. The cladding, rich in colour, is made of durable and maintenance-free fibre concrete plates. Stove-enamelled aluminium mesh panels, adapted for the architectural theme, are used for protection against foul weather and sun glare.

The teaching facilities of the school are designed to support the basic premises of the latest pedagogy. Traditional pupils’ desks and classrooms have been done away with, and the teacher no longer sits behind a desk. The environment provides stimuli and encourages interactivity. The teaching facilities and their furniture are designed for different functions, and the pupils move between different facilities with the teaching. The space and furniture solutions bring the pupils closer to the teacher and can be modified for different teaching situations. The facilities can be easily altered and joined together by opening partition walls. The multi-purpose design also allows function- and phenomenon-based learning.

Read more about the interior architecture of the Kalasatama School and Day Care here.