Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Omnia Kirkkokadun Toimipiste, Espoo, Finland

Exemplary design categories: comfort, flexible learning settings, vocational facilities

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The project’s aim was to create a comfortable, interesting and inspiring setting for a vocational college and adult education centre through good spatial and acoustic design, use of high-quality materials and directing natural light into the interior of the school. The building is used by vocational students (aged 15-19 years) during the day and vocational adult education groups (>20 years) in the evening.

The glass façades allows those outside the building to observe activities taking place in the school. It appears like a shining lantern in the dark northern mornings and evenings of the school year. Materials were also chosen to reflect the activities in the building, for example by using wood façades for the wood workshop. The common spaces (e.g. general and ICT classrooms, exhibition spaces, shop, restaurant) are gathered around a central three-storey hallway, which is used by all four training sectors at the college

Good acoustic design was important due to the noise from construction training. For this reason, the building sectors are separated by construction/movement joints and double interior wall structures. Sliding wall systems were used to increase the flexibility of common spaces and classrooms, for example, the restaurant and gym can be joined or separated using either transparent glass or solid sliding door/wall-systems.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
Future users of the building participated in the concept design and evaluated the architectural design process - from preliminary plans to the later on-site detail planning phase. The neighbouring medieval church, which uses the school, was consulted.

Activity Areas: 4 vocational education training halls (wood works, carpentry, building and landscape, green area construction), outdoor courtyards for building construction, classrooms (audiovisual arts, ICT and general studies), exhibition spaces and a shop for student works and projects, restaurant, gym, administrative areas

Project costs: EUR 20,000,000.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

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Images (3)

Drawings (4)

Floor plans 1st, 2nd and 3rd (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Hannu Jaakkola and Tapani Kerttula
OMNIA section A-A (Registration required)
image/pjpeg
Credit: Hannu Jaakkola and Tapani Kerttula
OMNIA Site plan (Registration required)
image/pjpeg
Credit: Hannu Jaakkola and Tapani Kerttula
Furniture plans are presented in floor plans 1-3 (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Hannu Jaakkola and Tapani Kerttula