Viikki Campus Library
Sipoo is a municipality of 20 000 people located some 30 minutes east of Helsinki. Because of its ideal location, it is the fastest-growing municipality in Finland. One of Sipoo’s three municipal centres is Nikkilä. When the first phase of Nikkilä’s new education centre was opened in 2016 for grades 7–9, it was the first school building in Finland combining Finnish and Swedish speaking upper-level comprehensive schools under the same roof. The second phase will include premises for grades 1–6 in both languages and a gym.
The core idea of the spatial solution can be read from the building’s unorthodox shape, which in floorplan resembles a star. The centre of the star is dedicated to common spaces, whereas both schools have their own three-floor-high wings. The third wing is dedicated to special classrooms used by both schools. In the second building phase, two more wings will be added to complete the star shape.
The school is designed according to the model of an educational centre, where traditional classrooms are replaced with different kinds of learning environments. The spaces are equipped with intelligent tools and the latest technology to provide opportunities for new ways of learning and innovating. In Sipoo, all pupils are given a tablet for studying in an online learning environment and not be restricted to a classroom.
The star-model is a compact solution in terms of functionality, energy efficiency and the scale of the building. The solution enables both schools to have their own distinctive and independent character. On the other hand, the common spaces and the sheltered yards between the wings encourage social encounters. All the yards have a unique look created by artist Aimo Katajamäki’s graphic design and distinctive use of colours.
Text: Petteri Kummala