Martta Wendelin Day Care Centre
Viikinmäki Community Centre houses a primary school for 180 pupils from 1st to 6th grade and a daycare centre for 84 children. It is fairly small for a contemporary Finnish school building, serving the new Viikinmäki “hill town” district of 3700 inhabitants located on rocky outcrop eight kilometres northeast of the city centre. The area was used as an outdoor shooting range until 2005, after which the construction started. Overlooking the River Vantaa, the neighbourhood has a very dramatic topography with its steep hill slopes and rugged rocky surroundings.
The unique site produced special requirements for the design. Because of the limited size of the plot, the building had to have an efficiently compact shape. Consequently, the building frame is quite deep and, to bring natural light in, it had to be lit via shafts that lead up to skylights. On the other hand, because of the challenging level differences, the building is terraced onto three levels. Therefore, the interior spaces vary in height, and there are also half-storey differences between some interior areas. Unexpected views between the spaces are thus opened, which makes the experience rich and varied.
The yard area is divided according to the level differences of the site into several courtyards so that much of the rocky terrain has been preserved. The courtyards are divided and designed for the needs of different age groups and, on the whole, they make up a very exciting and interesting outdoor area for the children of different ages. In line with the building guidelines of Viikinmäki, “a town of stone standing on a rock”, concrete is the main building material.
Text: Petteri Kummala