Metsola Children’s Home provides a safe and homelike environment for youngsters who have had a difficult upbringing. Their own backgrounds vary considerably as does the length of their stay in the children’s home. The building houses a reception and assessment section, where stays are extremely short, and a rehabilitation section, where stays are longer-term.
The basic architectural approach gives the youngsters an opportunity to adjust the size of their social circle to suit their state of mind. The children’s own rooms are located in the outer ring of the building and the sense of community increases as one moves towards the heart of the building. The communal spaces are on the courtyard side facing the sun. There is a camp-fire style fireplace in the centre of the enclosed courtyard.
The idea was to create a wooden building which melts into the surroundings but has a characteristic microenvironment of its own. The building has a hipped roof which slopes outwards and solid overhanging eaves edged with Virginia creepers growing up wires.
The frame of the building is constructed in sawn goods combined with laminated timber and laminated veneer lumber. The building is clad in timber and particular attention has been paid to structural weather protection. The roof and eaves were constructed with factory-made gang-nail trusses.
The external cladding is in spruce boards of varying width treated with a translucent finish. The spandrel panels between the windows are in external ply which is normally painted but has been left here with the factory finish for its visual effect.
Project in brief
Metsola Children's Home
- Location | Oulu
- Purpose | Children's Home
- Architectural Design | Architects m3
- Structural design | Insinööritoimisto Heikkilä ja Polojärvi Oy
- Photographs | Jussi Tiainen
- Text | Janne Pihlajaniemi