The idea was to build the new Karisto School in wood to reinforce the identity of this area of wooden houses and strengthen the local community spirit.
The first phase consisted of spaces for four daycare groups, first-year classrooms and administration. Later on, a foyer and dining area will be built together with more classrooms and specialized teaching spaces, plus a gymnasium and a branch library.
The school also acts as a multi-purpose building and this gave rise to ideas about existing in harmony under the same roof. The undulating canopy which opens up towards the south protects the elevation on the school playground side and provides shelter on rainy days. The free form is a reference to nature and the school’s ecological values.
The translucent-lacquer finish on the concrete internal surfaces contrasts with the white-lacquered wooden finishes. Fitted furniture is finished in birch, obeche and lacewood veneers.
The loadbearing structure is in laminated timber, but concrete has been used for stiffening and for the underground shelter. The external walls are constructed of six-metre wide timber elements. The floor and roof structures are also in timber.
This P2 Class school building is timber-clad on a timber structure and is not equipped with sprinklers. This means that a separate fire-prevention examination was called for. Fire technical simulations were carried out and it was decided to insert fire-breaks in the eaves and behind the external cladding.
The elevations are in 28 mm horizontal and vertical boarding with a translucent finish. The curved parts of the canopy are mainly in 25 x 75 mm boarding, while the steeper curves are clad in a combination of plywood and narrow wooden battens.
The construction was speeded up by the use of the timber element system, but the end result has the feeling of a handbuilt school.
The building is based on the winning entry in an invited competition held in autumn 2007.
Project in brief
Karisto School and daycare centre
- Location | Karisto, Lahti
- Purpose | School and daycare centre
- Constructor/Client | City of Lahti
- Architectural Design | Tilatakomo Architects
- Structural design | Päijät-Suunnittelu Oy
- Contractor | Rakennus-Varte Oy
- Wood component supplier | Eridomic Oy / Jaakko Huotari and Late-Rakenteet Oy
- Year completed | 2010
- Photographs | Jussi Tiainen
- Text | Esko Talonpoika