This pavilion-like day-care centre is draped across a park-like slope in the maritime city of Kotka.
Construction of the wooden Katariina day-care centre in the city of Kotka was completed in February 2017. The day-care centre is set in a park-like area near the sea, in the vicinity of an outdoor swimming pool, abandoned army barracks and single-family homes with gambrel roofs. Due to the parkland feel of the plot, the starting point for the design was a pavilion-like, light-coloured building that would complement its surroundings. Inspired by the city’s maritime environment, the design language of the building is reminiscent of a ship or seagull. Site elevation varied by more than 12 metres, which presented a challenge, but the centre of the plot proved an excellent choice after careful consideration of the various placement options and variations in building mass.
The building’s placement also purposefully separates the maintenance yard and its vehicles from the children’s play area, adding an element of safety. The building consists of two triangular shapes joined by large rain-proof terraces that open up towards the outdoor swimming pool. The facade consists primarily of whitewashed vertical cladding, with tucked-in sections highlighted with contrasting horizontal, glaze-treated solid wood panelling with concealed fixing.
The day-care centre’s interior spaces form a chain-like pattern along the central corridor, swerving in and out according to the building’s mass, making the interior quirky and fun. The twists and turns in different directions open up interesting views of the indoors and the outside scenery. The interior colour scheme follows a theme of varying seaside shades of blue and green interspersed with yellow and a splash of red.
The customer wanted to make sure the building was healthy, so particular care was taken in the construction design, with special attention paid to moisture management. Technical facilities were placed in the basement, and the rest of the building has a ventilated crawl space under the ground floor. The underground technical facilities have breathable flooring materials, and the most critical construction phases in terms of moisture management were carried out shielded from the elements under a protective cover.
Innovarch had already designed another day-care centre, Hovinpuisto, in Kotka. Designer team visited the Hovinpuisto centre together with the centre’s users and took their comments to heart in order to further improve upon the design of the new centre. As a result, Katariina day-care centre has indeed proven to be a success from the user perspective.
Project in brief
Katariina daycare centre
- Location | Kotka
- Purpose | Daycare centre
- Constructor/Client | City of Kotka
- Architectural Design | Innovarch Oy
- Structural design | Vahanen Rakennusfysiikka Oy
- Contractor | Rakennuspartio Oy
- Interior design | Innovarch Oy
- Electrical design | Etteplan Design Center Oy
- HVAC design | FCG Suunnittelu and tekniikka Oy
- Volume | 7 240 m3
- Floor area | 1 434 m2
- Total area | 1 612 m2
- Year completed | 2017
- Photographs | Antti Hahl
- Text | Maria Björklund