Martta Wendelin Day Care Centre
The Leppävaara district in Espoo has undergone many changes in the past two decades. The dragon red daycare centre, built by the City of Espoo, sits amidst the apple trees of a former orchard on a sunny spot at the foot of a rock.
The daycare centre was designed by architects, Jari Frondelius, AJakko Keppo and Juha Salmenperä. The free-flowing form of the building, the imaginative composition of window openings and versatile use of wood are all hallmarks of contemporary Finnish architecture. Although the design brief, a strict budget and municipal decision-making have provided the conventional framework for the design process, the outcome is fresh.
The spatial concept is based on a central corridor with group rooms organised on the south side auxiliary facilities facing north. The main hall that serves the entire daycare centre and residents’ park activities was situated at the juncture of the two wings that follow the contour on the site. The hall is entirely lined with birch boarding which lends the space a warm atmosphere. The use of different sized windows gives the building a playful character.
Text: Finnish Architectural Review 2/2010