Kannisto Community Centre
When the city of Kouvola started a project for a new primary school for 590 pupils of grades 1 to 6, practical goals were sustainability, energy efficiency and material durability. On the other hand, the new school was to nurture the pupils’ psychological and social wellbeing by creating a healthy, safe and functional learning and teaching environment that would also be aesthetically pleasing.
As the city of Kouvola strives to be a national forerunner in wood construction, it is was obvious that wood was to be the main building material of the new school. At the time of its completion Mansikkamäki School was the largest wooden school building in Finland.
Despite the school’s impressive size, the building does not include a dining hall and gymnastics hall. Instead, they are located in the older buildings on the site. Therefore, the heart of the school is the inner atrium courtyard around which the building twines. The heart is highlighted by colourful and playful facades facing the atrium.
The spatial structure of the school is based on classrooms and corridors with adaptability and multipurpose use in mind, so that the classrooms can easily be divided into different sized separate spaces. Demands of special education are carefully taken into consideration in Mansikkamäki School, since the teaching of autistic children in Kouvola is concentrated there.
Text: Petteri Kummala