Mestari Daycare Centre
The Pappilanpelto primary school is located at the edge of a valley in the Vihti parish village. On one side the valley is bordered by three hills, with the vicarage that dominates the valley standing on top of one of them.
The plot itself is elongated and narrow; the difference in height is at most five metres. The stratified nature of the building, its position on the steepest part of the plot and the partial embedding in the slope of the volumes conserve space and leave the more level areas of the plot for the schoolyard. The town plan calls for a pedestrian walkway to link the centre of the village with Pappilanpelto residential area; the walkway runs straight through the school plot. The disadvantages of this have been eliminated by separating the walkway from all traffic inside the school and by positioning the main entrance of the school along the walkway, along with other facilities that serve also outside users.
The building is divided into two parts so that entrance to the gymnasium is from the sports field lower down on the slope. Some of the gymnasium’s auxiliary spaces and the corridor that connects the two sections of the building are situated under the walkway. Also the school building itself is divided into two by a partly open interior space that reaches through all three floors of the building. This central hall is dominated by stairs which descend towards the dining hall like the tiers of an auditorium. The corridors and halls of the school can all be accessed from this central space. Towards the walkway, this central space is bordered by a side wing that has a curving exterior wall; here are the school kitchen, special classroom and the school office. On the opposite side of the central hall is the classroom wing. Entrance to the classrooms is directly from the yard via vestibules and unheated stairwells which are detached from the fabric of the building. The stairwells also section the yard into separate areas for each class. The library is situated in a central position, between the class wing and the central hall. Via its gallery the library can be reached from both floors of the wing, ensuring flexibility of use during lessons.
The gymnasium is a clearly sports-oriented space and also used by other schools during the day, the central hall serves also as the school’s assembly hall. In the evening the hall can be used as a public auditorium and a concert hall. The dental clinic is situated on the upper part of the slope where it is easily reached. Like a ‘public’ building it flanks the walkway and forms, together with the main entrance of the school, a small urban space by the side of the walkway.
The whole building is built on piles. The lowest floors have loadbearing slabs, the rest of the floors and the roof slab have a hollow-core structure. The loadbearing reinforced concrete walls of the central hall were cast on site. The exterior walls of the wings have a column-and-beam frame. The gymnasium is an all-steel structure: resting on paired steel columns, a three-dimensional truss structure bears a roof constructed of Paroc elements. The façades of the classroom wing are partly concrete, partly steel. The vestibules and stairwells are made of blocks, with painted plywood cladding. The façade cladding of the gymnasium/dental clinic complex is mainly steel.
Source: Finnish Architectural Review 5/1995