VERSTAS Architects’ Saunalahti School Exemplifies Finnish School Architecture

20:03, Tuesday, 16 June, 2015
VERSTAS Architects’ Saunalahti School Exemplifies Finnish School Architecture

Helsinki-based VERSTAS Architects has shared with us the beautiful Saunalahti Comprehensive School project in Espoo, Finland's second largest city. The school building, completed last fall, was the result of an open architecture competition in 2007 which VERSTAS Architects won.

The office is no stranger to the field of school design – having won awards for the Kirkkojärvi School project in Espoo and a third school scheduled for completion in 2016 on Hirvensalo island in Turku, Finland.

At the core of the design process for Saunalahti School stood the question of, primarily, how the physical school environment effects the learning results, and secondly, if a school building could also serve the larger audience as well. – Crucial thoughts considering the continuously highest ranking of Finnish education in international comparison.

In the “Future School” educational activities will increasingly take place outside the traditional classroom and introduce new ways of learning. Saunalahti school is a building tailored to support the pedagogical ideas of a forward-looking school. In its operation, the school puts special emphasis on new ways of learning, art and physical education and collaboration. The building supports these ideas by creating places for interaction of various scales and atmospheres.”Learning by doing”
     Learning and doing with ones own hands improves learning results. Art and physical education versatilely contribute to good learning and growth. In Saunalahti school these teaching spaces have been dedicated a prime location in the building. The workshops open through glass walls to the street and the school yard.

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