PRESS RELEASE MARCH 24, 2020 09:00 AM
Finland’s first Learning Village is being built in Toppilansaari, Oulu. In the autumn of 2021, it will be filled with enthusiastic children and motivated adults who were also involved in designing their school. A daycare centre, primary school and lower-secondary school will move under the same roof.
Schoolchildren are more active and interactive than previous generations. They are more confident in making video presentations and do cartwheels in class. They also take charge of and responsibility for issues, and set goals for themselves. In addition, challenges must be faced, such as allergies which are increasingly affecting the design of classrooms.
Mediset Hoivarakentajat and Honkarakenne created the Oppikyla (Learning Village) concept — which combines healthy and ecological log-building with functional space design — for the new generation of pupils. ‘Learning village’ is inspired by the new curriculum, which focuses on the individual needs and goals of the pupil. Marko Kuuskorpi and Julianna Nevari, leading professionals in the pedagogical design of buildings, are involved in the construction of the school.
Phenomenon-based learning and evening activities
The Christian School of Oulu (Oulun kristillinen koulu) and Verso Daycare Centre launched a tender for the school project in 2019. “The tender involved exploring whether our almost impossible requirements for safe materials, space efficiency and adaptability could be fulfilled,” says teacher Tapio Pokka, Chairperson of the Association for Primary and Early Childhood Education. “That is, can a solution which is so unbelievably good that it meets all of the related expectations be wrung out of architects from different backgrounds?”
The Learning Village exceeded the customer’s expectations. “The end result earns three cheers all round. We were amazed by the innovations and space efficiency, and by the kind of proposal they put on the table,” says Pokka.
Over a period of decades, log structures absorb much more carbon dioxide than that released by heating and other uses of the building. Throughout the life of a building, energy consumption and indoor air purity will be monitored via a user interface connected to phenomenon-based learning in the school. The design of the flexible facilities takes account of children with special needs and busy afternoon activities. Spaces transform into hobby and meeting facilities in the evenings.
School staff have worked alongside the designers to fine-tune the winning plan. “The result is inspiring and inventive,” says Pokka. Petri Ojala, the school’s Principal, agrees. “Collaboration definitely led to a better result than doing everything ourselves. We got more than we could ask for when launching the tender.”
Once implemented, the Learning Village concept will include staff training on the changes required to ensure that everyone settles smoothly into the learning environment and children enjoy the innovative aspects of their flexible facilities in their daily routines.
For more information:
Markus Saarelainen, Honkarakenne Ltd.
Tel. +358 (0)40 596 6007, firstname.lastname@example.org
Further details about Oppikylä (Learning Village):
Jouni Salmi, Director of Business Development, Mediset Hoivarakentajat Oy,
Tel. +358 (0)40 5235111, email@example.com
Honkarakenne Ltd supplies high-quality, healthy and ecological log homes, holiday homes and public buildings. Its buildings are made from Finnish solid wood under the Honka® brand. The company has delivered 85,000 buildings to over 50 countries. We manufacture our home packages in Finland, at our own factory located in Karstula. In 2019, Honkarakenne Group’s consolidated net sales totalled EUR 47.5 million, of which exports accounted for 34%. www.honka.fi
Mediset Hoivarakentajat Oy specialises in the professional overall management of sensory-friendly, log-structure daycare centres and learning environments, and care homes and residential services designed for special groups in Finland. Results of its high-quality work are already being enjoyed in almost 100 healthy indoor care and early childhood education facilities all over Finland. www.hoivarakentajat.fi
Oppikylä (Learning Village) is a healthy, safe and cost-effective school solution for changing space requirements. This sensory, log-structure learning environment serves not only as a school, but also as a high-occupancy facility for events and leisure activities. Training in the pedagogical adjustments required will help pupils and teachers to reform their educational culture as the learning environment around them changes. The Oppikylä (Learning Village) service is provided by Mediset Hoivarakentajat Oy as the main partner of the world’s leading manufacturer of log-built houses, Honkarakenne Ltd. It also involves a wide network of pedagogy and learning environment professionals. www.oppikylä.fi