Contemporary learning campus

James Forryan
Friday 06 Feb 2009

Finnish school building completes campus with a big inviting gesture

Enter is an IT-college in the town of Sipoo, close to Helsinki, Finland. The L-shaped pavilion-like building forms the last corner of an existing school campus.The urban setting is dominated by two curved yards; a larger one towards the campus garden and a smaller court yard connected to the main road. The two curved glass façades don't just open up the school towards the surrounding town, by providing views from one classroom to another they also strengthen the sense of community within the school.

The campus garden serves as a learning area, featuring a wireless network, green islands and concrete furniture. Fruit trees with white flowers celebrate the graduation in the end of May.The street side facade is broken up in smaller volumes to relate to the scale of the surrounding villas. The warm tone of the wooden surfaces is reminiscent of early 20th century school buildings.

A cast-on-site concrete stair topped by a large conical top light forms the focal point in the central lobby space. This space forms the heart of the building, both spatially and functionally. While providing the typical functions of entrance and staircase, it also acts as a space where pupils can meet up when not following lessons.A small mediatheaque and a café in the southern wing open up towards the central lobby. The class rooms are reduced in their material palette into industrial IT-workshops.

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