The Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School of the City of Helsinki has won the 2019 concrete construction award.

Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School earns the 2019 concrete construction award

The Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School of the City of Helsinki has won the 2019 concrete construction award. The school building earned the award for excellence in architectural design and structural engineering as well as for high-quality project management and implementation. The new school is highly visible, located at a central site in the new Helsinki inner-city district of Jätkäsaari.

The 2019 concrete construction award (Vuoden 2019 Betonirakenne) was presented to the school building on 23 January 2019. The award winner is selected annually by the Finnish concrete industry association Betoniteollisuus ry.

Concrete plays a key role in the building mass, creating its distinctive look. The exterior walls of the second and third floors, built with fibre-reinforced concrete, form a multifaceted pattern around windows and relief-like recesses. The seams between concrete elements are hidden by grooves and false seams. Ventilation grilles were designed to be integral parts of the concrete exterior wall patterns.

The floor area of the school building is 8,500 square metres. The interior spaces of the three-storey building are grouped around a central lobby area, illuminated softly by 16 concrete lanterns on the ceiling. The acoustic coating of the inner surfaces of the lanterns gives the lobby space good acoustics.

ätkäsaaren peruskoulun sisätiloja.

Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School interior

The construction of the school building was commenced in 2017, and the building opened doors to the Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School on 1 August 2019. The maritime location of the site at the seaside and requirements for a long service life presented challenges to structural engineering. The work started with piling: reinforced concrete piles and bored piles were driven into the ground. The building mass was designed to ensure spatial adaptability. Concrete stairwells serve as reinforcing structures in the building.

The Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School was designed by the architectural firm Aarti Ollila Ristola Arkkitehdit Oy on the basis of their winning design in an architectural competition. The school is a phenomenon-based, inclusive, urban, communal and experimental smart school. The school now educates grades 1–4 and 7. The school will be expanded until 2021, when it will be a full 9-grade comprehensive school. Outside of school hours, the building serves as an important multiple-use facility in the area, hosting various public events as well as evening art classes.

Jätkäsaari Comprehensive School, Helsinki

Awards for design, engineering and implementation:

Client: City of Helsinki, Urban Environment Division

Consultant project manager: Indepro Oy

Architectural design: Aarti Ollila Ristola Arkkitehdit Oy
Structural engineering: Sitowise Oy 
Developer: SRV Rakennus Oy 
Exterior concrete elements: Betoniluoma Oy

Honourable mentions to two Helsinki properties

Honorable mentions in the 2019 concrete construction competition (Vuoden 2019 Betonirakenne) were presented to two properties forming a housing block at Isopellontie 6, Helsinki, described by the jury as a harmonious housing complex. The complex comprises three five-storey residential buildings and a low-rise non-residential building, composed of Hason Rantapuisto of the City of Helsinki right-of-occupancy housing company Helsingin Asumisoikeus Oy (Haso) and Pukinmäki Isonpellontie 6 of the City of Helsinki rental housing company Helsingin kaupungin asunnot (Heka).

Photos: SRV