The building is intended as a base inside a recreation area, for toddlers, schoolchildren and youngsters, from babies to 14-year-olds.
The building, located at the corner of the Etupelto residents’ park, is made up of two tapering triangular wings. The triangles border a safe playground on the park side and open out towards a uniform outdoor area with no ‘blind spots’ hidden away behind corners.
The building is of timber construction and the elevations are in vertical boarding with a painted finish. A line of laminated timber columns supporting the roof structure gives expression to the south-facing outdoor terrace, which is sheltered by the roof of the wing. The corners of the wings have been designed as open pergolas.
The activity spaces are housed in the larger of the two wings and the smaller wing houses an unheated store. The entrance and corridor areas are joined to a group room to give a large uninterrupted space highlighted by the line of the rising roof and the balcony with the stairs leading up to it. The space opens onto the park through tall windows in the external wall and towards the evening sunshine from the high corner window by the stairs.
The entire rear wall, which is built of multicoloured cupboards and is called the ‘parrot wall’, generates a cheerful and perhaps even an exciting atmosphere. Noise absorption in the interior has been accomplished by suspending ‘inchworms’ from the ceiling. The children have christened them ‘Wotsits’.
Project in brief
Etupelto play-park building
- Location | Helsinki
- Purpose | Play-park building
- Constructor/Client | Helsingin kaupungin sosiaalivirasto
- Architectural Design | Arkkitehtitoimisto P&P Manner Oy
- Structural design | Insinööritoimisto Kimmo Kaitila Oy
- Contractor | Rakennus- ja maalausliike Helkar Oy
- Year completed | 2008
- Photographs | Kimmo Räisänen
- Text | Bitumi Manner