Toukovuori’s wooden day-care centre, which is part of the Porvoo lifecycle project, is a sculptural landmark in its area. The cosy building exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The facades are wood, as is much of the furniture, doors and suspended ceilings.
The Toukovuori day-care centre is located in an area where the building design guidelines promote the use of wood in a building’s main structures. Accordingly, most of the day-care centre’s frame is wood: the exterior walls, intermediate floors, and ceilings are wood, and the pillars and beams are laminated wood. The lightweight partitioning walls also mostly have wooden frames. The civil defence shelters and the walls and floors of the wet rooms and stairwells are aggregate structures, however, which was deemed sensible. The frame was built in situ, protected from the weather.
The facilities are spread over two floors, with room for six regular children’s groups and one night-shift group. The folded, bar-shaped building has wood cladding and follows the street line and wraps around the yard – the placement improves the microclimate in the playgrounds. The appearance of the street-facing facades is wall-like when compared to the playground-facing facades. The entrances for the children open into the courtyard-side recess, which has a warm, yellow-coloured wood trim accompanied by light-coloured horizontal cladding. The day-care centre stands out with its cityscape theme but also fits into the landscape serenely. The stripped-down wooden building with its distinctive double-pitched roof fits in with Porvoo’s historic buildings.
The harmonious playground can be easily monitored, and is also visible from indoors. Storage spaces were placed on the edges of the fenced area to avoid the creation of blind spots. The yard folds into the terrain naturally: the playground equipment is mostly near the building while the greenery and steep edges encourage children and adults alike to explore nature and spend time outdoors. The night-shift has its own entrance and yard.
Most of the pickup and drop-off traffic is concentrated on the northwest corner of the plot. In addition, there are a few places for parents accompanying children on the south side of the yard. The northeastern route is a one-way road, adding an additional level of safety. Staff parking is somewhat separated from the site. Most pedestrians arrive from the northwest or east side, but there is also a path from the south. Pedestrian and bike traffic does not intersect vehicle traffic. The maintenance area is separate from the pickup/drop-off area and the playground.
The warm wood is also on display inside, such as in the furniture, doors and suspended ceilings. The floor plan is efficient, and the distinct layout creates a restful general atmosphere. The facilities for the groups are split between two floors, and every two children’s groups general have one wet entryway. The entry areas are at the heart of the frame. The actual group facilities are against the exterior walls with a pleasing natural light. The nap areas for two groups are side-by-side so they can be combined to make monitoring easier. Plenty of views open up between the facilities, and the natural light flows in due to the interior windows and the glass in the doors. A cosy night-shift centre looking out onto the playground is located in its own unit on the ground floor.
Common facilities are mostly on the ground floor. The hall, canteen, and kitchen area complex can be split off for evening use with its own entrances. The social areas, and the cleaning and clothes washing facilities are in the civil defence shelter on the ground floor. The staff work and break areas are concentrated in the middle of the first floor, close to the group areas. The two-storey layout makes sense: due to its compactness and concentration on a central staircase, long corridors and disruption from through traffic have been avoided.
The technical facilities are mostly on the second floor, which facilitates possible future changes in the space.
Project in brief
Toukovuori daycare centre
- Location | Porvoo
- Purpose | Daycare centre
- Constructor/Client | City of Porvoo
- Architectural Design | Arkkitehtitoimisto Perko Oy
- Structural design | Insinööritoimisto Kimmo Kaitila Oy
- Contractor | Lemminkäinen Talo Oy
- Interior design | Arkkitehtuuritoimisto Meskanen & Pursiainen
- Electrical design | Sweco Talotekniikka Oy
- HVAC design | Sweco Talotekniikka Oy
- Volume | 7 630 m3
- Year completed | 2017
- Photographs | Mika Huisman
- Text | Eeva Turunen