Aalto University Väre Building
Syvälahti School and Community Centre is located on the island of Hirvensalo some 15 minutes southwest from Turku city. The building is based on the winning entry of an invited competition held in 2012. The construction of the winning entry by architects Väinö Nikkilä, Riina Palva, Jussi Palva, Ilkka Juhani Salminen from Verstas Architects was completed in 2018. The building consists of a primary school, a daycare centre and a public library. Different functions of the building are divided into four units, which are connected by a large public space comprised of the dining hall, multi-functional stage and a wide stair, which can be used as an auditorium as well as an informal learning space and a meeting place.
Basic architectural features of the building are already familiar from Verstas Architects’ Kirkkojärvi School, although in this case, the building combines more varied functions and the form language is more angular than in Kirkkojärvi.
Heavy and dark brick facades, which add warmth and sense of handicraft to the building, are punctuated by large and clear-cut openings and windows. Diverse but logical spatial design in the inside is underlined by rough concrete of the structures and wood detailing.
Special attention is paid to how the large building volume is incorporated into its surroundings to create sheltered schoolyards. The twisting forms of the facades allow different and interesting views from the inside towards the landscape. Ambitious yard design was done by Loci Landscape Architects. The building process was carried out as a project alliance project by Verstas Architects, NCC, Caverion and the client, city of Turku. The building has already been awarded by the Quality Building Prize by the city of Turku.
Text: Petteri Kummala