Aurinkokivi school is a future school concept for Vantaa, Finland. The design was awarded in the architectural competition in 2013 for its inspiring architecture and child-friendly spaces. The jury noted in their report that the entry has a “magical atmosphere both in outdoor and indoor spaces” and that the overall architecture is “fresh and open minded”. They especially praised the inviting and playful composition of the children’s spaces.
The concept is simple yet fresh: traditional gabled building wings meet and form a surprising composition at the heart of the building. The wings are the home areas the kindergarten and school, and the central spaces are the venue for common activities, sports and arts and spontaneous learning. In the wings, each children group has their own home entrance, group work lobby, and flexible classrooms or playrooms around it. Every wing opens up towards a green courtyard. Art and self-motivated learning are present both in the school’s curriculum and the architecture.
The building is mostly on one level and can be realized with repetitive construction elements. It is designed to be inexpensive to build, yet highly inspiring for learning.