Heinola Upper Secondary School


Location: Heinola, Finland

Year: 2017

Total Area: 4660m2

Programme: Upper secondary school, sports facilities, auditorium and exterior landscaping




 - Learning environments focus on adaptability and combining spaces

 - Four main units create an interior courtyard between them

 - These units contain classrooms, a sports hall, and an auditorium

 - Large sports facilities complement outdoor play and sport spaces

 - Spaces change from public to private as users move up the building




Besides being a place for learning, Heinola upper secondary school is a public building, a place for youth, sports and cultural activities, belonging to all age groups and sections of population, open also in the night-time and on weekends. The building has an open, vast central area that combines all spaces and activities and evokes an image of a campfire (hence the competition entry name “Notski”, a slang word for campfire) around which people gather to live side by side in harmony.


Thanks to its compact, bent shape, the Heinola upper secondary school fuses with its surroundings, making it a “house in park”. Buildings of different age in this precious cultural environment will have among them a public building that at the same time will fit in the surroundings and introduce something new to it.


The structural system based on clear repetition of learning environments and youth facilities enables adaptability and combining of spaces. The space groups for learning are simultaneously interconnected with the heart of the building and the surrounding landscape.




Metropolia Myllypuro Campus, Helsinki, 2017

Kastelli School and Community Centre, Oulu, 2014

Joensuu Primary School, Joensuu, 2006