Pasila School and Day-Care

Shared building for the new neighborhood

Project description:

In spring 2020, Talli and Mer Architects’ proposal “Aurinkokello” won an invitation competition to design a school and kindergarten building in Pasila. A new primary school for about 1,000 pupils will be constructed in the Central Pasila railyard area, with a kindergarten for around 200 children. The new school building is adapted to a slope plot surrounded by parks, bordered by the busy Tulistimenkatu and is strongly present in the cityscape when approached from all directions. The facades of the recognizable and aggregating public building are a recollection of the red brick architecture of the railyards. 

The materials of the outdoor architecture continue on the entrance floor, which walls are made of brick. In the interiors wood is prefered in ceilings, furniture and wall surfaces, which, in addition to its environmental friendliness, favorably affects the quality of indoor air. Natural materials and shades reduce the stress experienced by the building’s users. The use of materials also creates orientability and identity in different spaces. 

Central to the plan is the use of natural light both outside and indoors. Light flooding from the glass wall on the southwest side and the interior grouping around a light hole that passes the whole building is a solution that has significantly shaped the interior architecture. The ratio of window area to the outer wall is large, which has been another key means of increasing luminosity in the interior. Also, several partition walls of the building are made of glass, which, along with the light, also adds a sense of community and facilitates communication between different spaces. 

The courtyard are, with its abundant plants and the staircases leading to it, is part of a varied and meandering common public landscape. In particular, the plan takes into account the views and connection from the Halkopiiipunkallio to the school and day-care’s courtyards and the school building in the background. The yards are situated almost entirely on the roof over the lower section of the school, where the sun shines almost year-round. Also, the kindergarten’s playground gets a relative amount of light in the morning and afternoon hours. Lighting is relevant for the comfort of users and to the wellbeing of greenery on roof yards. Abundant greenery also positively affects the views that open out on the learning spaces. 

Project info:

Building permit granted:9/2022
Client:City of Helsinki
Location:Central Pasila, Helsinki
Size:13 250 m2
Competition phase workgroup:Julia Hertell, Jenni Hölttä, Minna Lukander,
Jukka Sulonen
Principal designer:In the design phase Jukka Sulonen
In the construction phase Minna Lukander
Building designers:Julia Hertell, Jenni Hölttä
Other team members:Johanna Brummer, Ida Fraser, Julia Hertell, Tiina Juuti, Jussi Laine, Minna Lukander, Emilia Nysten, Kaisa Riippi, Annina Ruuhilahti, Anna Sirola, Jorma Valkama, Juha Vento
Visualizations:Tiina Juuti, Atelier Replica/Agnieszka Kwiecien

In collaboration with Mer Architects.