In spring 1986, the National Board of Public Building arranged an invited design competition for the legal and police headquarters. The finished project was based on the winning entry by Kouvo & Partanen Architects.

The building site occupies a central position in the townscape. It is bounded to the south and east by a former barracks area and an adjacent park, with the town hall beyond. To the west of the building, there is rather an unstructured square, on which stand the city theatre and the high building of Niirala school. The street is lined by trees. To the north, there is a view of Puijo tower.

The aim was to create a building which would unify the space around the theatre square, while clearly displaying the elevation of public building towards the town hall.

Inside the block, a series of free-form squares have been created, and the lobbies and other public areas open onto these.

There court and police administration have separate entrances. The movement inside both units and their respective public spaces is also structured around separate vertical connections. There is a high lobby which forms the lively core of the building, with the joint meeting rooms, courtrooms and waiting rooms, and the largest and busiest public facilities positioned around it. The public facilities in the first and second-floor galleries open on the central lobby and entrance hall. The courtrooms are grouped as a dominant block, clearly separated from the rest of the building.

The frame is of reinforced concrete cast in situ, with fired red brick, marble, ceramic tile and glass as the main materials of the elevations.

Text: Finnish Architectural Review 1/1993

Location

Suokatu 44, Kuopio
62.8938496, 27.6659186

Images

View from the park, Kuopio Court and Police House
View from the park, Kuopio Court and Police House (© Kouvo Partanen Architects)
Elevation to the theatre, Kuopio Court and Police House
Elevation to the theatre, Kuopio Court and Police House (© Kouvo Partanen Architects)
Central lobby, Kuopio Court and Police House
Central lobby, Kuopio Court and Police House (© Kouvo Partanen Architects)
Central lobby, Kuopio Court and Police House
Central lobby, Kuopio Court and Police House (© Kouvo Partanen Architects)
Court room, Kuopio Court and Police House
Court room, Kuopio Court and Police House (© Kouvo Partanen Architects)
Site plan, Kuopio Court and Police House
Site plan, Kuopio Court and Police House (© Kouvo Partanen Architects)
Second floor and ground floor, Kuopio Court and Police House
Second floor and ground floor, Kuopio Court and Police House (© Kouvo Partanen Architects)