In 2010 Vahanen Group’s school design and architecture unit Eduarch, together with Finnish construction company YIT took part in a competition organized by the City of Porvoo, where one of the main requirements was to implement kindergartens with an energy efficient life cycle. As a result of winning the competition, three wooden, energy efficient life cycle kindergartens, with requirements of energy class A, were executed. Each building is approximately 1500 square meters and contains facilities for six groups of children. Ylä-Haikkoo kindergarten was the first one to start operating, in summer 2012, followed by Omenatarha kindergarten at the beginning of 2013 and Jokilaakso kindergarten this summer.
Multifunctional and flexible buildings help to meet the needs of children of different ages. Wet areas and group facilities have been divided into zones. These zones are segregated from each other, so altering the usage of a zone is possible. Common to all three kindergartens is a simple and fresh look – a combination of white wooden panels, brightly coloured façade panels and coloured glass. The playful colour scheme continues throughout the indoor spaces, as every kindergarten has its own specific colour combination. All three kindergartens also feature a stimulating playground enclosed by the surrounding building mass.Ecological and safe materials with a long maintenance cycle were specified throughout. Technical solutions have been designed to save energy – as an example of this, the majority of outdoor and indoor lighting has been executed with LED lights.Vahanen Group’s Eduarch unit has been responsible for the head designer duties, plus the architectural, interior and landscape design of the kindergartens.Design team
Head designer: Jani Ristimäki
Project architect and interior designer: Eeva Turunen
Landscape designer: Minna Raassina
Photos: Antti Hahl