The Metsola wooden daycare centre in Nurmijärvi is a newly constructed two-storey building with a CLT structure. Its facilities are easily adaptable for the daycare centre’s and primary school’s varying activities. Perched on top of a hill, the stunning triangular daycare centre was one of the 2021 Wood Award finalists.
Read the article in Finnish: Metsolan päiväkoti
Reflecting the spirit of its young users, Metsola’s daycare centre displays a playful design language. The project was designed by Arkkitehtitoimisto LPV Oy, with architects Rosa Paukio and Ilari Airikkala as the main designers. Airikkala says that the team arranged workshops with the staff and children in the early stages of the design process to brainstorm not only learning spaces that would support the new curriculum but also play areas such as wooden huts.
– With the help of virtual reality goggles, we were able to engage directly with the users right from the start, and they were able to “walk” through the building when the design was still a mere draft. Thanks to the goggles, it was possible to spot issues with functional solutions and then resolve them immediately together, Airikkala notes.
Entrance to the building is via covered and sheltered recesses. Exits from the first floor are through a covered outer staircase and a fire-compartmented stairwell. The wood theme of the exterior continues indoors, where walls mostly have their CLT surfaces visible.
The functional spaces are grouped around the daycare centre’s central lobby, which also serves as a learning space. The central lobby and the corridor circling it provide stunning views all across the building, especially when viewed from the first floor. A lantern in the lobby ceiling floods the central lobby with light, as do the facade’s large windows to which there is an unobstructed view from a number of spaces. Adjustable blinds shield the classrooms from onlookers in the corridors.
The site has a lot of old trees, including oaks and tall larches, from its time as the Kylänpää School of Forestry. Based on the feedback from the workshops with the children and other users, as much of the surrounding organic forest and terrain was retained as possible. The two-storey building has plenty of space around it for children to have fun and play games, and the structure conveniently divides the yard into different play areas.
To support primary education, there are plans for play houses, huts and even potato and vegetable patches along the walkways. The daycare centre’s triangular shape creates a secluded area on the west side playground, leaving the eye-catching east end of the building clearly visible from Metsolankaari.
The load-bearing frame of the building consists of solid wood CLT elements in the external and partitioning walls and of glulam columns and beams in the central lobby. These are complemented with an intermediate floor of CLT-glulam ribbed slab and a roof of CLT slab with nail plate trusses.
In the building design, the wooden structural solutions were leveraged as architectural elements where possible. For example, the glulam beams that intersect in the central lobby ceiling are a load-bearing structure, but they are also visually impressive.
With the new fire regulations, it was possible to leave wooden surfaces visible in a significant part of the structures without compromising fire safety. The wooden structure’s good breathability also makes the indoor conditions exceptionally healthy, and wooden elements also need no separate thermal insulation.
For Arkkitehtitoimisto LPV, which specialises in school and daycare centre design, the Metsola project was an opportunity to challenge conventional construction practices by creating a multifunctional wooden building. “One of the goals of our office is to design impressive spaces that are good for people. At Metsola daycare centre, wood construction made this possible”, sums up CEO Arto Aho.
Founded in 1958, Oy Rakennuspartio, the main contractor of the Metsola daycare centre, has been family owned and operated for four generations. The company employs 100 to 140 skilled professionals.
Project in brief
Metsola daycare centre
- Location | Nurmijärvi
- Purpose | Daycare centre
- Constructor/Client | Nurmijärvi municipal facility centre
- Total area | 1 903 m2
- Architectural Design | Arkkitehtitoimisto Lehto Peltonen Valkama Oy
- Structural design | Expecon Oy
- LVIA-suunnittelu | ALTEN Finland Oy
- Electrical design | Sweco Talotekniikka Oy
- Muut suunnittelijat ja asiantuntijat | Wood structure consulting: Wood Expert
Wood structure and element design: Sweco Rakennetekniikka Oy
- Pääurakoitsija | Rakennuspartio Oy
- Wood component supplier | CLT element delivery and frame installation: Puurakentajat Group Oy (manufacture of CLT elements: CLT-Plant Oy), others Versowood Oy
- Photographs | Aerial view Jere Hyppönen/Vahanen Oy, exterior photos Mari Tervonen/Vahanen Oy, interior photos Inlook Oy
- Text | Arkkitehtitoimisto LPV Oy, Susanna Friman