Salpa School – Vantaa, Finland

School Building
Vantaa, Finland

Finland has one of the best educational systems in the world and is constantly trying to push towards new architectural concepts that can further challenge the educational system to force innovation.
Being the only visible public buildings in many local communities, schools have special local importance as an expression of the ethos, aesthetic sensibilities and technical expertise. They provide a venue not only for daily lessons but also for after school various recreational activities.
The new Aurinkokivi school is a new landmark. It is the basis of its future success and a reflection of the society values, tradition and progressiveness.
The school is situated at the edge of the old city new expansion plan. The building site is characterized by the dense forest coverage and the sensitive light and atmospheric conditions of the region. The new Aurinkokivi School architectural project is conceived to be a pavilion in nature that reacts to the mentioned above characteristics. Its geometry and organization merges the new and the old, the geometric configurations of contemporary urban planning and the organic, improvisational and multifunctional volumetric organization of traditional urbanism. Its architectural identity goes beyond the inner dynamics of the building creating an icon.
The school is conceived as a small city within a city. An iconic condensed form that encloses life, and endorses it.
Schools are nowadays regarded as the shared work place for both the teachers and students. The interior offers peace and quiet for autonomous work and concentration as well as communal areas for joint activities and socializing.
A network bright streets open to the sky creates detached volumes, blocks for learning, sports and recreation, designated areas for specific functions and streets, parks and plazas linking them. In between daily life in the school, improvised social behavior, bring to life new uses, random meeting spots, areas for private concentration and spontaneous moments for casual encounters.
The architecture of the school becomes itself an educational experience for its occupants. The place where young students spend their formative years leading up to adulthood can inspire, provide with insight and understanding and an appreciation of the social values.


Project Team
Leonidas Trampoukis, Eleni Petaloti, Tuomas Raikamo, Ryan Whitby
Associate Architect  
Tuomas Raikamo
Aurinkokivi School, City of Vantaa
Total built area  
Awarded Purchase Award at international architecture competition