Jyväskylä Primary School, Jyväskylä, Finland


Location: Jyväskylä, Finland

Year: 2002 

Size: 6,100 m2



Jyväskylä lower-level comprehensive school is situated in the prestigious university milieu created by Alvar Aalto, on Jyväskylä’s Seminaarinmäki hill. Its outer form is characterised by the strong bipartite division. The street-side wing forms an integral part of campus’ western silhouette, whereas the glass facades facing the interior of the campus are characterised by reflections of the parkland site and earlier architecture.


The school’s interior spaces have been organised into units by function about the entrance hall, exhibition space and east-facing schoolyard. Common spaces, the canteen, multi-function space, library, subject specific classrooms and general teaching spaces at the centre and the two wings house the teaching groups’ base classrooms arranged in clusters of three.


The interiors represent an interpretation of one the modern views of lower-level comprehensive education. Varying orientation of spaces, the vistas from one space to the next, materials and the hierarchical organisation of spatial entities, result in spatially interesting, vibrant and understandable volumes.


The frame consists mainly of prefabricated units and hollow slab floors. The design of the building is based on the winning entry “Syli” of an invited architectural competition held in 2000.