The Satavuo school in Laukaa takes its name from the area’s three villages, Savio, Tarvaala and Vuontee. Completed in the village of Vuontee, the school opened its doors to students in August. The new environmentally-friendly wood school brings children and residents from three villages together by offering facilities for a hundred children for a hundred years. Users of the school have already praised the user-friendly materials and the multipurpose learning environment that can be reconfigured as needed.
The new focal point of Vuontee village in Laukaa is an environmental-friendly wood school that brings together students and day-care centre children from three local villages. The ecoschool concept is an innovative construction initiative that combines a healthy, longlived building, a sustainably-produced energy supply, locally-produced food and a facility solution that meets the demands of modern pedagogy. The school building, which is scaled for about one hundred students, was built using solid wood CLT techniques. In place of the traditional classrooms, the school design stresses a more open, shared, and multipurpose learning environment in the spirit of the new national curriculum.
The school is split into three blocks, with the school and daycare centre in one section, the gymnasium and the technical and visual arts class in another section, and the administration, kitchen and utility facilities in the third. The modular structure is applicable in future to other sites in Finland, and possibly even abroad. The sections consist of modules that share the same scale and dimensions. This makes it easy to make eventual functional changes. If needed, the sections can be expanded by adding modules.
Wood can be seen and touched in the school facilities. The students and staff at the school have given positive feedback on the good acoustics and the cosy atmosphere created by the wood surfaces. The multipurpose teaching facilities allow students to study in the lobbies and in the small breakout spaces associated with the classes.
The central foyer that connects the entire school – and also serves as the cafeteria and as a performance space – has also drawn praise from the students and staff. The performance space includes a fixed stage built based on the teachers’ suggestions. The core part of the school highlights the good qualities of wood. In spite of the large space, the soundscape remains soft.
In addition to the school staff, parents, municipal decision-makers and villagers were able to contribute to the design of the Laukaa ecoschool. – We have a lot of national heritage, a variety of facilities that are not yet fully utilised. The ecoschool was designed to accommodate a wide variety of free-time activities and events in the evenings and on the weekends, says Tero Wéman – lead architect for the site.
Environmentally-friendly values are apparent not only in the school’s structure but also in the education and other activities provided. The building is heated with renewable bio-energy produced in Finland, the children are offered locally-produced food, and the intention is to use biogas for school transportation in future.
Project in brief
- Location | Laukaa, Vuonteen kylä
- Purpose | Early childhood education, pre-school and primary school
- Constructor/Client | Municipality of Laukaa
- Architectural Design | Arkkitehtipalvelu Oy
- Structural design | Sweco Rakennetekniikka Oy
- Contractor | NCC Suomi Oy
- Wood component supplier | CLT Finland Oy
- Interior design | Arkkitehtipalvelu Oy
- Electrical design | Sweco Talotekniikka Oy
- HVAC design | Sweco Talotekniikka Oy
- Volume | 12 540 m3
- Floor area | 2 631 m2
- Total area | 2 631 m2
- Year completed | 2018
- Photographs | Jenni Moilanen and Janne Ulvinen
- Text | Jenni Moilanen