The Taika day-care centre is designed with the needs and the scale of children in mind to create a place of daycare and overnight care well in line with the values of the Nordic culture. Taika also offers office space for all the regional directors of early education in Seinäjoki as well as shared spaces for the community to use in the evening hours and weekends.
The Taika day-care centre is carefully designed to provide children and their educators an experiential and friendly space. Taika opened its doors to serve Seinäjoki families in January 2018, and it has been well loved by the staff and the children alike since the beginning.
Taika is centrally located and easily accessible by the main traffic ways in the Seinäjoki region. The location is well suited to serve key regional employers, and many services that facilitate the needs of families with children are conveniently located nearby.
Despite the relatively large number of children served, Taika offers a home-like scale. It provides daycare for 225 children in the ages of 1-7 and is a place of work for 50 staff members.
Taika also offers overnight care for a rotating group of 200 children with a maximum of 60 children spending the night there at a time. All overnight childcare offered by the City of Seinäjoki is now gathered under one roof in Taika. Also the offices of the regional directors of early education are now all in one place, which supports their work as a team. Taika also offers shared spaces for the community to use for meetings and performances in the evening hours and weekends.
Taika is situated next to a small forest adjacent to an area of housing from the 1950s. Taking its cue from the traditional Ostrobothnian barn, Taika is shaped like a large barn. Yet, it is colorful and full of light. Its star-shaped plan serves to provide rhythm and to create a home-like scale, and the roof scape of varying heights responds to the scale of the neighborhood.
The star-shaped plan offers an efficient and flexible organization of space. The building is divided into six home base areas each housing two groups of 18-20 children. Each home base area has its own entrance providing direct access from the yard, and the large windows facing the yard give the building lots of light and air. The space is organized in a playful rhythm of alternating sheltered nooks and open areas, and the interiors and furnishings are color-coded to give each group its own identifiable color. Each age group has its own section in the building and the color-coding helps the children orient themselves in the building.
The star-shaped plan also makes it possible to create a series of loosely separated playground areas for different age groups, each with its own entrance porch that serves as a covered outdoor play area in rainy weather. Each entrance is provided with a functionally organized foyer designed to meet even the most challenging needs of the fall and winter season, and the home base areas are provided with flexibly adapting naptime spaces.
In order to serve the community more broadly, there are spaces specifically designed to facilitate shared use by the community. The open double-height space in the center serves as a dining hall and transforms into a performance space or a meeting place for the community to use in the evenings. Taika also offers an array of shared spaces suitable for varied activities from a swimming pool in the basement, to a workshop with a workbench for working with wood, as well as easels and drawing boards, and a large gym. A wide ‘reading stair’ in the center provides an auditorium-like space for children to gather in.
The structure of Taika is a hybrid of wood and steel. The exterior walls are clad with larch paneling that acquires a silvery gray patina over time showing the signs of age in the face of the building. Segments of the exterior walls are covered with galvanized steel that reflects the color of the sky and the surrounding landscape.
Wood is used also in the interiors and furnishings. It is a locally available and sustainable material that works well in the local climate. The interior walls are clad with spruce, and the flooring is linoleum for easy maintenance.
Project in brief
Taika daycare centre
- Location | Seinäjoki
- Purpose | daycare centre
- Constructor/Client | City of Seinäjoki
- Valmistumisvuosi | 2017
- Total area | 3 100 m2
- Investointikustannukset | 5890000€
- Architectural Design | OOPEAA
- Structural design | Contria Oy
- LVIA-suunnittelu | Insinööritoimisto Ylitalo Oy
- Electrical design | Insinööritoimisto Ylitalo Oy
- Interior design | OOPEAA
- Pääurakoitsija | Turnkey contractor: Rakennus K. Karhu Oy, Electric and HVAC contractor: Caverion Suomi Oy
- Photographs | Mikko Auerniitty
- Text | OOPEAA