Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Tuomarilan päiväkoti, Espoo, Finland

Exemplary design categories: comfort, community use and involvement, multi-sensory environment, outdoor spaces

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
Built to replace a crowded and rundown 1960s facility, this brightly coloured two-storey kindergarten has a relatively small footprint and maximises the space available for the playground which occupies the southern half of the plot. Situated on a sloping site, some of the lower level of the building is partly below ground, and this allows entrances to be located on both the ground and first floors. Inside, the rooms are laid out around continuous street-like spaces that can also be used for play activities. Spaces have been oriented to introduce daylight deep into the interior of the building. Comfort is ensured through sun-protected window glass, overhanging sheltering roofs and carefully positioned transparent partitions. There are home areas for five groups of children, two on the ground floor and three on the upper floor. These comprise an activity room and a resting room. Although the activity and resting rooms are all white, the mosaic of colours on the exterior walls can be seen through the windows. The aim is to provide a neutral backdrop for the children’s creative activities, and a space where “the children provide the colour”. To create a sense of transition between the indoor group activity spaces and the outdoor playground, triangular wedges have been sliced from the mass of the building. The façades of the cut-out spaces are clad in a playful mosaic of colours inspired by children’s building bricks. The playground is frequently used by children from a wider area during evenings and weekends.

Activity Areas: resting room, activity room, children’s entrance, entrance hall, kitchen, play area, hall, kitchen/dining area, hobby room, staff restroom, office, technical room, working room, staff break room, small group room, greenhouse

Project costs: EUR 3,200,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" (OECD, 2011)

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User perspectives (1)

"The facilities are very functional and can be adapted to various needs for children of different ages."
Riitta Raitio, manager, Tuomarila Day Care Centre

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