Interior design Anne-Mari Juutilainen and Ulla-Maija Kosunen (learning environment), Nyyti Ahola (administrative facilities)
Leppävirta, Finland, 2018

Community Centre for the whole municipality

The Leppäkerttu School, a school with 320 pupils and 35 teachers in Leppävirta, also serves as a community centre the whole municipality. One of the main goals of the project was to create a facility for many kinds of uses and users. The building has been designed to support basic education, as well as education in energy efficiency. In other words, the building serves as a learning tool for the pupils.

The project is based on green values, energy efficiency and lower lifecycle costs. Special attention was also paid to reducing the carbon footprint and to clean indoor air. In its design, key considerations included renewable energy, useful life, sustainable materials and efficient use of space.

A new model for competitive bidding supported the change

The learning environment and administrative facilities were acquired through reverse bidding. The information necessary for the bidding process was collected at a workshop held during the specification phase, and a workshop about change management was also held. In the bidding process, flexible educational facilities and movable furniture were key. In terms of interior design, attention was paid to materials and colour schemes, visual aspects, and the durability and cleanability of the furniture. Other considerations included ergonomics and differences in age and size between the users.

To ensure high utilisation rates, it was decided that a separate sports facility would not be built. Martela’s Snap folding tables allow for versatile use of the dining hall: the facility is easy to adjust for sports and exercise, among other uses.

Versatile facilities for many uses

The Leppäkerttu School now has more functional and comfortable facilities that serve not only the pupils, but also other residents of the Leppävirta municipality. The flexible facilities for various groups of users support a new way of working and learning. The materials are safe and non-allergenic. The fabrics are durable and recyclable, and have been designed for learning environments in particular. Sustainability and green values are evident in many details in the project.