Taika kindergarten is designed with the needs and the scale of children in mind. Taking its cue from the Ostrobotnian traditional barn in the open field, Taika is shaped like a series of large barns. Yet, its floor plan is star-shaped and offers an efficient and flexible organization of space and rhythm and creates a sense of a home-like scale.
The spaces are divided into six independent home base areas, each with a different colour scheme and their own entrance from the yard. The naptime spaces are flexibly adaptable and the foyer areas convenient and equipped to deal with the challenges brought along by the Nordic weather. In the core of the building there is a double-height open space that serves as a canteen and transforms into a multipurpose space. Wide ‘reading stairs’ in the centre offer an auditorium-like space for children to gather in. The common spaces include a swimming pool in the basement, workshops and a large gym, providing suitable spaces for a large number of activities.
The yard is organised into pockets of loosely separated outdoor areas with entrance canopies to provide shelter and to serve children of different age groups. The facades are clad with larch paneling and will obtain a silvery gray patina over time. Segments of the exterior walls are covered with aluminum to reflect the color of the sky and the surrounding landscape.
Taika provides daycare for 225 children, including 60 overnight places for children whose parents work in shifts, as well as a workplace for 50 staff members. In addition, the building houses the offices of the regional early education services.