Location: Pakila, Helsinki

Type: yard design

Year: 2019-2021

The Pakila school yard was renovated in connection with the renovation and expansion of the school building. The starting point of the design were three main themes: an environment that encourages movement, the health and well-being effects of nature, and pedagogical opportunities outdoors. In particular, enabling versatile movement on the school grounds was an important starting point, and efforts were made to create spaces for people of all ages and abilities. In the immediate vicinity of the school grounds are living areas of Siberian flying squirrels and the noise-producing Keha I. These aspects also had to be taken into account in the design. The green factor was calculated to support design solutions.

The finished yard encourages children of all ages and abilities to move. In addition to being used during breaks, the yard serves as an outdoor learning environment, which enables the teaching to be easily extended outside. The yard has three themed areas: construction yard, art yard and sensory yard. There are special structures in the themed areas, such as an outdoor grandstand, scoot mounds, pier structures and barrow benches. In accordance with sustainable environmental construction, stormwater has been treated in stormwater tanks and lowered planting basins. 

Efforts were made to save the surrounding forests as much as possible. They enable contact with nature, which is important for immune defense. Accessibility was also considered in the design of the yard. The project included several participation workshops for users and residents, where the functions of the yard were discussed together and alternative design solutions were discussed.