Kastelli School occupies an expansive, flat plot separate from the urban fabric between parklands and a hospital. The layout is designed around four interconnected ‘dice’. The architects’ goal was to design the school of the future: an optimal environment for applying the new national curriculum.

The cleanly divided ‘dice’ break up the enormous complex into manageable segments, containing a comprehensive school, senior secondary school, daycare centre, youth centre, library and gym. Linking them together is a small, low-rise entrance hall. The yards look as though they had been chomped out of the dice, providing good spaces for outdoor learning.

The exterior cleverly breaks down its monumental scale into cosy, user-friendly units. More a functional hybrid than a conventional school, the building buzzes with life, making all who enter feel welcome. Piecing together this design puzzle has required great integrational skill from the architects.

Source: Finnish Architecture Biennial Review 2016 catalogue

Location

Sairaalanrinne 5, Oulu
65.0029983, 25.5249791

Images

Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Kuvio)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Mika Huisman)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Kuvio)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Kuvio)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Kuvio)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Kuvio)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Kuvio)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Kuvio)
Kastelli School and Community Centre
Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Pekka Agarth)
Scale model, Kastelli School and Community Centre
Scale model, Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Arkkitehtitoimisto Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Oy)
Site plan, Kastelli School and Community Centre
Site plan, Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Arkkitehtitoimisto Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Oy)
Ground floor, Kastelli School and Community Centre
Ground floor, Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Arkkitehtitoimisto Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Oy)
1st floor, Kastelli School and Community Centre
1st floor, Kastelli School and Community Centre (© Arkkitehtitoimisto Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Oy)

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