Smart School Irkutsk
(in association with Studio Puisto)
Architects Rudanko + Kankkunen Ltd. won second prize in the international competition of Smart School Irkutsk (http://smartschooltender.ru/en) together with Studio Puisto Architects Ltd. The fellow competitors in the invited competition were world’s top offices MVRDV, Sou Fujimoto, Cebra, Work AC and MKPL Architects.
Smart School Irkutsk is a large mixed use development consisting of schools for many age groups, housing for families, a farm, and sports functions on a green site by the river Angara in Irkutsk. The total size of the program is 30 000 sqm. The competition program introduced the idea of a “School-park”, a school that merges into the landscape and uses the green areas as learning environments. The idea was very welcome to the Finnish team, as Finnish education is based on holistic, phenomenon-based learning, which spreads out from the classrooms.
The proposal is based on the idea of small-scale Learning villages. The daily learning environments of the children consist of inspiring village-like structures, which are spread around the campus, opening up to the natural environments. The terrain is subtly shaped to create sheltered valleys for schoolyards, sports, farm, and family housing. At the heart of the site, the small-scale Learning villages are surrounded by bigger school blocks, which frame a safe home area for each group of children. The learning space naturally continues from indoors to outdoors.
The jury very much praised the learning environment concept of the Finnish proposal. They found the idea of learning villages to match the ideal of a School-park. The Finnish architect team was enthusiastic to discuss the relationship of learning and architectural space, and this created a lively discussion between the jury and the architect team during the presentations of the competition. Out of the six competitors, the competition jury chose three best works as finalists to compete at the last round. The team of Architects Rudanko + Kankkunen and Studio Puisto Architects made it to the last round and finally won second prize in the competition.
The design team consisted of architects Hilla Rudanko, Anssi Kankkunen, Heikki Riitahuhta, Emma Johansson, Willem van Bolderen, Mikko Jakonen, Sampsa Palva and Anastasia Glukhova, architecture students Pauliina Kujala and Tiia Anttila, landscape architect Mari Ariluoma and engineering specialists of Sweco Structures, Jyri Nieminen, Lasse Rajala and Riku Maidell. The local partner in the team was Homeland Group / Valeriy Shaev.